French finance minister says necessary to preserve Renault-Nissan…


French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris, France, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday said it was necessary to preserve the alliance between Renault SA and Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd, which he said has benefited the French automaker with synergies and technology.

Speaking at a gathering of G20 finance ministers in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, Le Maire also said it was not his role to meet with Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa, and that the role of the state is as shareholder.

The French state owns 15% of Renault, which in turn owns 43% of Nissan. Le Maire was speaking days after Italy’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV called off a proposed merger with Renault citing the interference of the French government.

(This story has been refiled to fix the dateline)

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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