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BNP denies interest in ABN Amro after Dutch newspaper report

Illustration shows BNP Paribas Bank logo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -BNP Paribas on Friday denied any interest in acquiring ABN Amro bank, following a report by a Dutch newspaper that the French bank had held talks last summer about taking a stake in ABN.

"BNP Paribas Group reminds firmly that it has never shown any interest in the acquisition of ABN Amro," the bank said in a statement.

A spokesperson for ABN Amro declined comment.

The report in Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad cited documents it obtained through the Dutch Freedom of Information Act.

The paper said the documents showed representatives of BNP Paribas held "orienting talks" with the ministry of finance to indicate their interest in ABN and were directed to discuss the matter with the bank's executives.

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The FD story on Friday followed reports in June last year, in which sources with knowledge of the matter said that France's biggest lender had signalled an interest in taking over ABN Amro.

ABN Amro was partially re-privatised in 2015, after a government bailout and nationalization during the 2008 financial crisis.

The government still holds a 56% stake, but last month said it would sell part of its stake, reducing it to just under half.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer and Toby Sterling; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Sandra Maler)