© Reuters. Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) CEO Castagna is seen during business plan meeting in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) – Banco BPM (MI:) rules out any tie-ups for the moment given uncertain market conditions, CEO Giuseppe Castagna said on Saturday when asked about the bank’s interest in rivals Carige (MI:), UBI Banca (MI:) or Monte dei Paschi (MI:).

“The macro-economic uncertainty and the situation in the banking sector are such that make us exclude any further tie-ups for the moment, even though we believe there is still space for further consolidation in the sector in future,” Castagna told Il Messaggero daily in an interview, in comments confirmed by a spokeswoman.

Banco BPM, which is Italy’s third largest bank, has been mentioned in the press in recent days as a potential buyer of troubled Carige, which was put under temporary administration by the European Central Bank this month after it failed to raise capital from investors.

The ECB has pushed Carige to seek a merger with a stronger rival and finding a buyer is now one of the tasks of the three commissioners appointed to run Italy’s tenth-largest bank.

In the past a three-way merger involving Banco BPM, which was created in 2017 from the merger of Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare , UBI and Monte dei Paschi has been mooted as a possible solution to help Tuscany-based Monte dei Paschi which was bailed out by the state in 2016.

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