Banco BPM welcomes comments by BPER's top investor on possible deal

MILAN, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Banco BPM remains interested in exploring merger deals and welcomes comments by BPER Banca’s biggest shareholder in relation to a potential integration, CEO Giuseppe Castagna said on Friday.

Unipol CEO Carlo Cimbri said in a newspaper interview the idea of combining mid-sized Banco BPM and BPER to create a group with 300 billion euros ($356 billion) in assets, rooted in wealthy northern Italy, was “fascinating.”

“As I’ve said several times, the bank is interested in exploring merger deals with a strong industrial rational aimed at creating value for shareholders,” Castagna in a statement emailed by the bank.

“With this in mind, we welcome the Unipol CEO’s comments regarding a possible consolidation deal,” he added. (Reporting by Andrea Mandalà; editing by Valentina Za)