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BNP Paribas seeks to grow in Germany, but not a candidate for Commerzbank deal

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BNP Paribas seeks to grow in Germany, but not a candidate for Commerzbank deal

BNP Paribas SA is planning to grow in Germany, but it does not need to acquire a German bank such as Commerzbank AG to do so, executives said May 23.

The French bank has been seeking to grow in the German market by targeting medium-sized companies, developing its two German online banking and consumer finance brands, Consorsbank and Consors Finanz, and expanding its wealth management business. It is seeking to increase German revenues to €2 billion by 2020 from €1.5 billion in 2016.

The recent failure of merger talks between Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank has reportedly sparked interest from other European banks such as ING Groep NV and UniCredit SpA. BNP Paribas has been linked with Commerzbank in the past.

"We are not a candidate for an acquisition" of Commerzbank, BNP Paribas Chairman Jean Lemierre told a shareholder meeting in Paris. He said the bank is currently focused on organic growth in Germany.

"We can have a debate over whether it is slow or fast, but it is also safe because we know what we are doing," he said.

BNP Paribas's COO, Philippe Bordenave, told the meeting the bank was increasing its revenues in Germany by 8% annually, much faster than the rest of the group. The bank's overall revenues fell 1.5% to €42.52 billion in 2018.

He said the bank is gaining market share in Germany and was committed to its German expansion.