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Financials

UPDATE 1-France's BNP seen as favourite to invest in Orange Bank -BFM Business

(Adds no comment from Orange and BNP)

PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas is seen as the leading candidate among French lenders to invest in telecoms group Orange’s online banking arm, BFM Business reported on Thursday.

Orange is willing to give up control of Orange Bank, the broadcaster said on its website, while BNP wants to benefit from Orange’s international network in Africa, Spain and Poland.

Orange and BNP Paribas declined to comment.

A source close to the matter told Reuters this month that Orange was looking for a new investor in its banking unit.

Orange owns 78% of Orange Bank while French insurer Groupama holds the remaining 22%.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Matthieu Protard Editing by David Goodman

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