April 5, 2017 / 10:13 AM / 5 months ago

BRIEF-French state holding firm APE eyes more M&A deals in 2017

April 5 (Reuters) - France/APE state holding firm:

* Martin Vial, who heads French state holding agency APE, tells Le Monde newspaper in an interview that APE could sell off more state holdings in companies or buy more stakes

* The APE sold its 12.7 percent stake in carmaker PSA Group to the country's Bpifrance sovereign wealth fund, the two government bodies announced on March 27

* Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate currently tipped by polls to win the French presidential election, has pledged to set up a 10 billion euros ($10.7 billion) fund to promote industrial and research projects, to be financed by selling down shares in companies where the state owns a minority stake and by dividends from state-owned shares.

* Conservative candidate Francois Fillon has also said he was favourable towards privatisations of state shareholdings in order to raise cash for investments in major infrastructure projects.

* France has significant holdings in several large companies including Air France, Airbus, Peugeot , Renault, Orange AND Engie .

($1 = 0.9376 euros)

Further company coverage: (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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