France set to help merging banks
The French government could provide up to 5bn euros ($6.4bn, £4.4bn) in loans to two merging French banks, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has said.
Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne are expected to finalise the merger deal, which was announced last October, later this week.
The merged group would be France’s second biggest retail bank after Credit Agricole with 480bn euros in deposits.
Ms Lagarde said the state might become a direct shareholder of the new group.