(Alliance News) - Barclays PLC is considering bidding to buy the UK private bank of France's Societe Generale SA, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The London-based lender is in the early stages of considering a bid for Paris-based SocGen's Kleinwort Hambros business, the news agency said, citing "three people familiar with the matter".

SocGen is being advised by Rothschild & Co and has started to invite bidders to take part in an auction for the UK private bank, Reuters reported that two of the people said. SocGen also is preparing to sell its Swiss private bank, they said.


Barclays shares were down 0.2% at 141.74 pence in London on Thursday morning, while SocGen shares were up 0.6% at EUR21.75 in Paris.

By Tom Waite, Alliance News editor

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