PARIS, March 9 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole pledged on Wednesday to boost cost savings and synergies by 2019 in a bid to offset earnings shortfalls resulting from the restructuring of complex shareholding ties.
The plan marks a new chapter in Credit Agricole's strategy to return to its roots in key markets - France and Italy - after an unsuccessful international spree and overcome internal divisions within the group.
It did not rule out acquisitions by its asset manager, Amundi, but said it may further streamline its presence in non-core countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Ukraine, if there were opportunities.
Credit Agricole said it would aim for 900 million euros ($988 million) in annual cost savings by 2019 by simplifying the corporate structure, which combines numerous legal entities, and reducing IT costs. It declined to comment on possible staff cuts. ($1 = 0.9109 euros) (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Julien Ponthus; Editing by James Regan)