© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Unicredit’s bank logo is pictured on block notes and pens at the headquarters in Milan

CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – Italy’s top bank UniCredit (MI:) will assess strategic options when drawing up a new business plan next year, its chairman said, when asked about a possible merger with France’s Societe Generale (PA:).

UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier is widely expected to seek a merger for the Italian bank after completing the turnaround he started on his arrival in mid-2016. Analysts and press reports have often singled out SocGen as a likely merger partner.

“We have a business plan based on organic growth. We’ll have to do a new plan during 2019 and we’ll assess all available options at that time,” UniCredit Chairman Fabrizio Saccomanni told reporters at the Ambrosetti business forum on Saturday.

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