The BNP is the favourite of Berlin to merge with Commerzbank ?

The German State seems to be well seller of its stake in the second largest bank in the country, Commerzbank, but wants to choose its buyer. Approached by the Italian group UniCredit, according to the Reuters news agency, the government of Angela Merkel is said to favour a solution of the franco-German, a merger with the French BNP Paribas, according to the weekly financial WirtschaftsWoche (WiWo), citing sources in “the financial community is of high rank”. The German Finance ministry said that no formal mandate has not been granted for the sale of the 15.6% that it holds and does not comment on potential buyers.

“We want to achieve a good result for the taxpayer German”, had told the press the day before, a spokesman for the ministry.

Contacted, BNP Paribas does not make any comment.

The action Commerzbank jumped by more than 3.5% on Thursday on the Frankfurt stock Exchange. That BNP Paribas has secured 1.3 per cent, in a context bearer for the values of european banking in the aftermath of the announcements from the Fed on future interest rate increases.

An Airbus of the bank ?

The German State is he trying to make up the bidding for its stake is currently valued 2 billion euros ? In 2008-2009, in the midst of the financial crisis, Berlin had injected a total 18 billion euros in Commerzbank, which has repaid $ 14.3 billion in 2011. Or dream-t-it to build a “Airbus of the bank” ? The WiWo indicates that the creation of a “strong institution of the franco-German could signal a deepening of the european banking union”.

His preference for BNP Paribas may be as to the fundamentals of the French group, which has the advantage of being the first bank in the euro zone by assets – only the british HSBC is ahead – and the second by market capitalization (83 billion euros, behind Banco Santander), with a balance sheet total of 2.076 billion euros, close to the annual GDP of France. For its part, UniCredit is engaged in a vast transformation plan : the analysts at Jefferies believed that a merger with Commerzbank, the heavy execution risk, seems unlikely in the short term.

BNP Paribas is familiar with the German market, which he refers to as a “target development” in its strategic plan 2020, in particular in the segment of companies of the Mittelstand, the customer base of Commerzbank. The group has also appointed last January, a new boss for Germany, Lutz Diederichs, came from HypoVereinsbank (subsidiary of UniCredit) in order to strengthen the position of the BNP on this “priority market for the group”.

[Plan 2017-2020 of BNP Paribas, march 2017.]

BNP also owns the online bank Consors bank!, it has merged with DAB, which has 1.5 million customers. The French group has also recently acquired, with PSA, 50% of the activities of auto finance Opel. On the other hand, in the credit conso, the joint venture that it had created in 2010 with Commerzbank, has been dissolved, the German bank wishing to develop this activity on the digital ; BNP pursuing his own now under the brand name Consors Finanz. A separation that is the logical result was not necessarily a marriage…

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