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Banks Deny Proposal For Mega-Merger

Germany's four largest banks on Monday denied a rumored proposal for a mega-merger. Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, Commerzbank and HypoVereinsbank representatives said they had no plans for such a step. German newsmagazine Der Spiegel and the daily Financial Times Deutschland had previously reported that German Finance Minister Hans Eichel had urged bank chief executives to consider a merger to prevent hostile takeovers by foreign banks. The merger rumors led to a surge in bank stocks by more than three percent. Experts said it was highly unlikely all four banks would join together under one roof. Hostile foreign takeovers were equally implausible. "Foreigners won't buy German banks because they still don't generate attractive rates of return," Jens Kleine of Mercer Management Consulting told news agency DPA.