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Italian UniCredit, French Societe Generale vying for merger

Italian UniCreditItalian bank UniCredit may merge with French bank Societe Generale. This is the first instance of an Italian bank merging with a French bank and would lead to creation of a banking behemoth in Europe. According to news reports, UniCredit’s French CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier has been pioneering the merger idea for several months though a formal proposal is yet to be made. Mustier feels Societe Generale, where he was heading the investment banking unit earlier, is an ideal partner for the Italian lender. On the other hand, a main benefit for Societe Generale would be gaining a leading position in Italy and Germany, both in retail and corporate banking. The merger may not be that easy, give the political uncertainties in Italy and a possible lack of interest on the part of Societe Generale for the merger.

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