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BNP Paribas may take direct control of BNL's foreign units

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA, the Italian lender owned by France's BNP Paribas SA, said its board is considering a reorganization that would transfer its foreign assets to its parent.

The plan, which would spin off the Italian lender's businesses in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong, is „in general terms” viewed „favorably” by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA's board, the Rome-based lender said today in a statement distributed by the Italian stock exchange. Banca Nazionale said it postponed final approval for the reorganization to a future meeting.

Paris-based BNP Paribas SA acquired Banca Nazionale for €9 billion ($12 billion) last year, giving it 2.7 million clients and 895 branches in Italy. A reorganization would allow BNP Paribas to merge Banca Nazionale's foreign businesses with its own activities. The Italian lender's domestic assets would be transferred into a new company, wholly owned by BNP Paribas. Investors would be given BNP Paribas shares in exchange for their Banca Nazionale stock. (Bloomberg)