PARIS Top French banks BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) denied a report that they could seek to raise a combined 11 billion euros ($14.8 billion) as part of a broader European bank recapitalization plan.
Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper had reported that France's first and second largest banks by market cap would seek about 7 billion euros and 3-4 billion euros, respectively.
A BNP spokeswoman denied the report, reiterating that it planned to reach Basel III capital targets without a capital increase. SocGen also denied the report and also said it would reach Basel III targets without a capital increase.
The Journal du Dimanche report, which did not cite sources, follows one in German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung saying that the top five French banks had agreed to receive 10 to 15 billion euros in fresh capital from the French state as long as Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) agreed to a government capital injection as well.
The Journal du Dimanche report said most European banking groups would prefer a European recapitalization mechanism "so as not to be stigmatized," adding that the European Banking Authority could be in charge of such a plan.
A French finance ministry source told Reuters on Friday there was common agreement between Paris and Berlin on the need to recapitalize European banks, adding that injections of public capital would be a "last resort."
(Reporting By Christian Plumb and Lionel Laurent; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)