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BNP Paribas May Bid for SocGen

France's biggest bank is considering a bid to buy its embattled rival, even as SocGen shares closed up 1.7% Thursday

BNP Paribas yesterday gave its first hint that it may bid for Société Générale since its arch rival became vulnerable to takeovers in the wake of last week's rogue trading scandal.

A spokesman for BNPP, which in 1999 had a bid for SocGen rebuffed, said: "We are studying it because all Europe's banks are studying it."