French bank takeover rumors rise

From Times Wire Services

Societe Generale fought off political pressure to fire its chairman, but the French bank failed to quash persistent takeover speculation.

The bank’s board also said it had set up a committee of independent directors to ensure that the cause and size of its rogue trading losses were fully accounted for.

The bank has been in turmoil since revealing $7.3 billion of losses, which it blames on rogue share trades by a junior employee, Jerome Kerviel. Societe Generale’s board is eager to fight off potential predator BNP Paribas and asked Executive Chairman Daniel Bouton and his deputy, Philippe Citerne, to stay on through the crisis.