BNP CEO plays down big merger speculation

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BNP Paribas Chairman Jean Lemierre on Friday damped down speculation that France’s biggest bank is interested in a tie-up with Germany’s Commerzbank.

Reuters: “We are good friends. But we are friends. Competitors. And we like it,” Lemierre said at a banking conference in response to a question.

“No more, no rumor, no comment,” he said, while seated next to Commerzbank Chief Executive Martin Zielke.

Several people close to the matter said last month that Commerzbank was working with two investment banks to be prepared in case of a takeover bid from a European rival.

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BNP damps down Commerzbank tie-up talk, says just friends

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