FT - Two top banks said to be considering big merger deal

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The urge to merge ?

Italian bank UniCredit is considering a merger with France’s Societe Generale, a move that would combine two of Europe’s largest financial institutions, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

Bloomberg News reports that UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, who is French and once worked for SocGen, has been developing the idea for several months, the FT said, citing people close to the situation. SocGen directors have also been studying the possibility of a tie-up, the FT said.

Discussions over such a merger are at an early stage, and they may be challenged by Italy’s recent political turmoil, the report said. That’s already pushed back the potential timetable for a deal from an original plan of 18 months, the FT reported.

UniCredit Pushes for Merger With SocGen, FT Reports

In the meantime, Reuters reports that Societe Generale said on Monday it had reached agreements in principle with U.S. and French authorities to resolve probes on its transactions in Libya and on its handling of the ‘IBOR’ money market rates.

SocGen added that penalties to be paid as a result of this had already been covered by earlier provisions and booked into the bank’s accounts.

SocGen reaches deal to resolve Libya and IBOR rates probes

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