BNP Paribas CEO rules out big deals when asked about Deutsche Bank

FILE PHOTO: BNP Paribas Chief Executive Officer Jean-Laurent Bonnafe attends a news conference to present the bank's 2017 annual results in Paris, France, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - BNP Paribas BNPP.PA chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe effectively ruled out a tie-up with struggling German rival Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE on Thursday, saying the French lender is not considering any large takeovers or mergers.

Responding to a question from a BNP Paribas shareholder at its annual general meeting in Paris, Bonnafe said that the bank was always watching its competitors to learn “good” practices and ideas, but dismissed the idea of a big tie-up.

Europe’s big banks put consolidation on the back burner following the financial crash and ensuing debt crisis, focusing largely on getting their own houses in order.

France’s biggest bank now dwarfs Deutsche Bank in terms of market capitalization, at 77 billion euros ($90 billion) compared with the German bank’s 23 billion euro valuation.

“In the foreseeable future, the group has no intention to carry out large-sized operations, because it is not possible,” Bonnafe said, when asked if BNP was “analyzing” Deutsche Bank.

“We cannot transform, modernize and accelerate our business while engaging into operations such as major acquisitions,” he told investors.

Sources close to Britain's Barclays Plc BARC.L on Wednesday said it is not actively exploring a potential merger with rivals after a Financial Times report that it could combine with Standard Chartered STAN.L.

Under its 2020 business plan BNP Paribas plans to expand in investment banking and win market shares in Europe as competitors retrench, while also raising its cost savings.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Alexander Smith