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    French Fin Minister Denies Reports About Talks on Possible Renault-Nissan Merger

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire denied on Sunday reports about the French government's intention to seek a merger of automakers Renault and Nissan Motor into a single holding company.

    Earlier, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the French delegation, including Renault board member Martin Vial, and Le Maire's chief of staff Emmanuel Moulin, visited Japan this week to hold talks on Renault-Nissan car dealerships merger in a single holding company, as well as plans for the early election of a new chairman of the board of directors of the Japanese automaker after the arrest of former chief Carlos Ghosn.

    "Not on the agenda," Le Maire said, commenting on reports, as quoted by Le Monde newspaper.

    He noted that France, as a shareholder of Renault, "is committed to the proper functioning" and "longevity" of the existing Renault and Nissan alliance.

    READ MORE: France Demands Japan Accept Renault-Nissan Merger After Ghosn Scandal — Reports

    "This is what we have always told the Japanese leadership. What is on the agenda now is Renault’s top management," Le Maire said.

    In his opinion, Renault's board of directors should appoint "reliable, stable, durable" management in the coming days.

    Ghosn and Greg Kelly, his right-hand man, were arrested in Tokyo on November 19 on allegations of misreporting Ghosn’s earnings over a five-year period from 2010. Both men have denied the allegation.

    At the end of December, the prosecutor's office brought new charges against Ghosn, suspecting him of shifting a personal investment loss worth more than $16 million to the Japanese automaker. On December 31, the court extended Ghosn's detention until January 11 as part of an arrest warrant linked to breach of trust. Kelly was released on bail on December 25.

    READ MORE: Tokyo Court Rejects Prosecution Request of Ex-Nissan Chief's Detention — Reports

    Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is a partnership between the French company Renault and the Japanese Nissan and Mitsubishi in the field of mechanical engineering development. Renault-Nissan alliance was established in 1999. At the same time, Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, and the Japanese company owns a 15-percent stake in the French partner. In 2016, Nissan bought a 34-percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors, and as a result, the world's largest automaker alliance was formed, with cumulative sales in 2017 totaled 10.6 million vehicles.

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    merger, Renault, Nissan, Japan, France, Europe
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