November 19, 2018 / 12:54 PM / 22 days ago

France's Macron vows to maintain Renault-Nissan stability

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel (not seen) at Egmont Palace, on the first day of an official state visit, in Brussels, Belgium November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - France will work to preserve the stability of Renault (RENA.PA) and its alliance with Nissan (7201.T), President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, after the Japanese carmaker took steps to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial irregularities.

“It’s too early to comment on the reality or materiality of the accusations, about which I have no further information,” Macron told reporters in Brussels.

“As a shareholder, however, the French government will remain extremely vigilant regarding the stability of the alliance, the (Renault) group and ... its employees, who have the full support of the state.”

Nissan (7201.T) said earlier on Monday that it planned to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn after alleging he had made personal use of company assets and committed other unspecified acts of serious misconduct.

The French state owns 15 percent of Renault, which in turn holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan.

The Japanese automaker said that based on a whistleblower report, it had been investigating possible improper practices by Ghosn and board member Greg Kelly for several months, and that it was fully cooperating with investigators.

Neither Ghosn nor Kelly could be reached for comment.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Michel Rose; Editing by Laurence Frost

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