December 12, 2018 / 3:18 PM / 7 months ago

Germany seeks to assist potential bank merger: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Deutsche Bank is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany is holding high-level talks to facilitate a possible merger of the nation’s two largest private banks - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) - Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, said that discussions included German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Christian Sewing.

Spokesmen for the two banks declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Germany’s finance ministry said there was nothing she could say about the report.

The discussions include possible ways to change laws to make a merger cheaper, Bloomberg reported. Talks are in an exploratory phase, the report said.

Shares of Deutsche Bank spiked 6.5 percent, while Commerzbank jumped 7.1 percent.

Speculation about a possible tie-up between the two banks has been rife this year. Last week Focus magazine reported that the German government was ready to orchestrate a merger between them.

Senior officials at both lenders have played down chances of a merger over the next 12 to 18 months as they restructure their companies to make them profitable.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Michelle Martin and Maria Sheahan

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