MILAN - Banco Ambrosiano Veneto is in talks about the possibility of acquiring an Italian subsidiary of Citicorp, a spokeswoman said.

The bank confirmed that it is in preliminary talks about the possibility of acquiring Citibank Italia, a 52-branch, $2 billion-asset commercial bank. The discussions were reported Monday in the American Banker.

"We are evaluating the Citibank prospect," the spokeswoman said. "It is a bank that could be appetizing for many banks that have expansion strategies." Citibank Italia officials have declined to comment.

But commenting on press reports elsewhere regarding possible sale of other European assets, a Citibank executive denied that the company's French banking interests are for sale.

Individual and Small-Business Banking

In a telephone interview, Marc Desaedeleer, associate director general of Citibank activities in France, said that the French assets, primarily 13 units under the name Compagnie Generale de Banque-Citibank, "were not for sale at the beginning of the year and aren't now."

On the contrary, he said, "we are continuing to look at the opportunities to develop individual and small-business banking in France."

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