Renault To Go

Anxious to rejuvenate a faltering privatization program, France is likely to sell a big chunk of state-owned auto maker Renault by yearend. Insurer AGF had been next in line, with politically sensitive Renault expected to wait until after next May's presidential election. But the car producer, which has achieved a strong turnaround, is likely to excite investors more because financial services companies have fallen out of favor. BNP, Matra-Hachette, and Elf Aquitaine are likely to buy stakes in Renault under France's policy of building "hard cores" of friendly stockholders.

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