The French bank BNP Paribas moved nearer to taking over Italys Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) when its bid was approved on 21 March by the central Bank of Italy. The decision by the BOI was taken based on information they had received from the French bank and from French bank regulators. The BNP Paribas offer has been approved by the board of the BNL and a deadline of 3 April has been set by the European Commission for what is expected to be its approval of the takeover

BNP Paribas has currently agreed to buy 48 per cent of BNL stock from major shareholders and it intends to secure further shares by the summer bringing up the total value of its shares 9 billion