BNP Paribas hints it may bid for embattled rival SocGen
Friday 01 February 2008
BNP Paribas yesterday gave its first hint that it may bid for Société Générale since its arch rival became vulnerable to takeovers in the wake of last week's rogue trading scandal.
A spokesman for BNPP, which in 1999 had a bid for SocGen rebuffed, said: "We are studying it because all Europe's banks are studying it."
The banking group later back-peddled, saying its statements had been blown out of proportion. "Like everyone in Europe we're thinking about what this means for us and nothing more," it said.
A source close to SocGen also sought to play down the rumours, saying: "All banks have teams paid to look at rivals when their shares fall to a certain level. We're not worried about a bid."
Nevertheless, SocGen's shares closed up 1.7 per cent yesterday at €83.30. The bank has become the focus of takeover speculation since the revelation that it had lost almost €5bn last Thursday. The losses were brought about when the bank unwound €50bn-worth of unauthorised futures trades made by 31-year-old derivatives trader Jerome Kerviel during the stock market slump on "Black Monday".
BNPP has been mooted as the favourite should SocGen lose its independence, although the management declined to answer related questions at its results announcement on Wednesday.
Kimon Kalamboussis, an analyst at Citigroup, said in a note that "in-market, BNPP and SocGen have been regarded as a 'natural'" combination". He said a merger would provide scale in domestic retail banking, and team SocGen's strength in equity derivatives, with BNPP's presence in fixed income.
This would not be BNPP's first attempt to buy its rival. In 1999, SocGen agreed a friendly merger with the then independent Paribas. The deal was effectively ambushed as Banque Nationale de Paris launched an audacious $39bn hostile bid for both banks shortly after.
BNP won control of Paribas after an acrimonious battle, but was ordered to sell its 37 per cent stake in SocGen by the French banking regulator Cecei.
Other names to emerge as potential bidders this week, include Banco Santander and BBVA of Spain, HSBC and Barclays in the UK and domestic rival Credit Agricole.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...
$125 - $175 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Senior Wealth Manager In...