San Paolo-IMI SpA, Italy's largest bank, said Wednesday that it is interested in buying a stake in Credit Lyonnais SA, France's No. 4 bank.

"We're interested; we're evaluating the situation," said Luigi Maranzana, co-chief executive of San Paolo, which also is awaiting the outcome of its bid for Banca diRoma SpA. "France is an important country for us," he said, declining to give further details.

The European Commission has demanded that France sell 90% of Credit Lyonnais by October, but French finance ministry officials said investors will be limited to a 10% stake.

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