For the moment it is only an indiscretion, of those that have been circulating for some time and once they have been made known – especially if from an authoritative source – they are able to find confirmations on their own. Let’s talk about the merger between Unicredit and the French giant Société Générale.
The news has rebounded, with the roller coaster ride of both by the British Financial Times. The banking risiko is, in all of Europe, a well-known prospect as well as sponsored by the supervisory authorities, which pushes for aggregation within the eurozone. Only the first stone in the pond was missing to move the waters. And this rock – or perhaps a boulder, given the size of the subjects involved – has arrived with the uncontrolled rumors of future weddings between Milan, Piazza Gae Aulenti, and Paris, the district of La Défense.
It is not the first time that Unicredit and Société Générale have been accredited as promised brides. Those directly affected by now deny, but beyond a few synergies from the operational point of view, the merger would be a valid solution at least from the “geo-economic” point of view valid for both, thanks to the complementary geographical and business sectors.
Further confirmations – even if there are currently no talks between the parties – come from two coincidences that have occurred over the last few months. The first, the confirmation of the Italian Lorenzo bini Smaghi (ex Bce) at the helm of SocGen. The second is the fact that, as per the plan of the Unicredit of Jean-Pierre Mustier, the Italian bank surpassed the “colleague” in terms of capitalization, a circumstance that occurred a few days ago when the Italian Credit reached 33 billion in the face of 32 of Société Générale.
Is this a merger at the same level? Beyond the stock exchange prices, Société Générale is significantly larger than Unicredit in terms of turnover and number of employees. Not to mention that from France to Italy operations have recently undertaken a substantially one-sided road, with Paris taking the lion’s share while we succumbed in the face of trans-Alpine shopping. The French government has always pushed in this direction. It will be worth seeing what the new yellow-green executive will do.