Peugeot reviews options to support banking unit


French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Wednesday it was reviewing options to enable its banking unit to maintain sufficient financing volumes amid concerns that debt rating cuts could push the bank into junk status.

PSA was responding to an earlier report by French daily Le Figaro that said the French Ministry of Finance and national banks were negotiating a rescue plan for Banque PSA Finance (BPF) which could lead to a decision within days.

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Le Figaro said the plan involved a commitment by banks to postpone the payment date of 4 billion euros of debt and bring new credit lines of 1.5 billion euros to BPF, while the state would provide a guarantee for around 4 billion euros.

"The management of PSA is reviewing different options to set up solutions enabling Banque PSA to maintain sufficient financing volumes for its end customers and its dealer network for the carmaking unit and the company as a whole to function well," a spokesman for PSA told Reuters.

BNP Paribas , Credit Agricole , Natixis and Societe Generale as well as foreign banks which represent 50 percent of the loans outstanding, are involved in the discussions, Le Figaro said.

BPF finances Peugeot and Citroen dealers as well as offering credit facilities to customers.

(Reporting by Alice Cannet; Editing by James Regan)