June 4, 2018 / 8:02 AM / in 4 months

SocGen upgraded to 'buy' by brokerage Kepler on UniCredit merger talk

PARIS (Reuters) - Brokerage Kepler raised its rating on France’s Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) to “buy” from “hold” on Monday, following the Financial Times’ report that UniCredit (CRDI.MI) was exploring a merger with SocGen.

The logo of the French bank Societe Generale is seen in front of the bank's headquarters building at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“Société Générale is now at play, in our view, and this warrants an upgrade of our rating from ‘Hold’ to ‘Buy’,” Kepler wrote in a note.

On Sunday, SocGen denied “any board discussion regarding a potential merger with UniCredit”, according to an emailed statement to Reuters. UniCredit declined to comment on the FT report, while saying their ‘Transform 2019’ turnaround plan is based on “organic assumptions”.

Reporting by Blandine Henault and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Bate Felix

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