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National City in talks to sell itself: report

Shares of National City Corp climbed sharply Thursday, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the large Midwest U.S. regional bank was in talks about a possible sale.
/ Source: Reuters

Shares of National City Corp climbed sharply Thursday, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the large Midwest U.S. regional bank was in talks about a possible sale.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc, Pennsylvania’s largest bank, and Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia are among the potential bidders, the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

A NatCity spokeswoman declined to comment specifically on the story. “National City is a strong, stable and well-capitalized institution,” she said.

Officials from PNC and Scotiabank could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cleveland-based National City is viewed as one of the weaker regional banks hard-hit by the credit crunch, and unlike fellow strugglers Washington Mutual Inc or Wachovia Corp it has not yet found a buyer.

The bank has major presences in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, areas that have been devastated by the housing crisis. The bank’s shares have fallen more than 80 percent this year.