September 26, 2018 / 8:04 AM / 3 months ago

French bank BNP Paribas has no appetite for more big acquisitions

PARIS (Reuters) - BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) is not planning any major international acquisitions in 2019-2020, France’s biggest listed bank said in a presentation on Wednesday, despite signs of possible big deals in the European banking sector.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French bank BNP Paribas is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

“2019-2020: No appetite for further acquisitions,” the bank wrote in a slide for an investor presentation at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).

The slide referred to the bank’s international financial services division, in which it bundles all activities outside the euro zone plus a series of businesses within the region such as insurance, asset management and real estate.

Earlier this year, BNP Paribas increased its presence in Poland with the 775 million euros ($912 million) purchase of Raiffeisen Bank’s (RBI) (RBIV.VI) main business in the European Union’s largest eastern economy.

BNP Paribas added in its presentation it would focus instead on integrating earlier acquisitions, such as the Polish deal.

BNP Paribas’ comments came as German business daily Handlesblatt reported Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) had considered a theoretical merger with UBS (UBSG.S).

The scenario, along with a potential merger with Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), was discussed at the bank’s strategy meeting with the supervisory board earlier this month, Handelsblatt said.

Deutsche Bank, UBS and Commerzbank declined to comment on the report.

A fragmented European market and rising costs linked to tougher regulations, have fueled speculation banks may look to merge.

BNP Paribas added in its presentation it was on track with its goal to boost value for its shareholders, and described the current backdrop as providing a “good macroeconomic context”.

The bank also said the sale of a further 30 percent stake in First Hawaiian Bank in two tranches this summer brought a capital gain of 300 million euros that will be booked during the third quarter.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter

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