BNP: No SocGen Bid

France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, gets fed up with media speculation and tells the world it will not bid for its troubled rival

BNP Paribas finally confirmed to the market on Wednesday that it is not going to bid for Societe Generale, which almost collapsed at the beginning of the year, thanks to a scandal that saw trader Jerome Kerviel bet EUR 50bn of the bank's money, ultimately losing it EUR 4.9bn.

Kerviel is currently in Paris on bail.

“Given the persistent rumours,” BNP Paribas said in a statement, “BNP Paribas clarifies that it has ceased to consider a potential tie- up with Societe Generale.”

Paribas believes “that the conditions, which would have allowed it to realise a shareholder value creating merger, are not met.”

With all the economic volatility on the world's capital markets, Paribas would rather mitigate any financial risk-taking on behalf of its shareholders.

The bank believes it “is well positioned to continue its development by combining its expertise in retail banking (over 50% of the group's revenues), corporate and investment banking (28%) and asset management and services (18%).”

SocGen's shares closed at EUR 67.19 on Tuesday, valuing the bank at around EUR 30bn (US$47bn) by market value.