BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government denied a report that it favored a merger of state-backed Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) with France’s BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), saying it was not in negotiations to divest its 15 percent stake in the German lender.
“The report by WirtschaftsWoche is not correct. There are no negotiations and we have not mandated an investment bank,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
It said it was not under time pressure to divest its stake in Commerzbank and reiterated that it aimed for a good result for the taxpayer.
The report published by WirtschaftsWoche earlier on Thursday had helped push up shares in Commerzbank by as much as 5 percent to 11.41 euros.
The German government would need to get at least 18 euros per Commerzbank share in any sale to avoid a loss on its investment.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Arno Schuetze