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France wants private shareholder for STX, says Italy's Fincantieri best option - report

option - report@

MILAN, Aug 1 (Reuters) - France wants a private investor for the STX France shipyards and Fincantieri is the best option but the government will be forced to consider other alternatives should negotiations with the Italian shipbuilder fail, the French Finance Minister said on Tuesday in an Italian paper.

"The (STX) Saint Nazaire shipyards must not be directed by the French State. We want a private shareholder and Fincantieri today is the best industrial group to join this big European and Franco-Italian project," Bruno Le Maire told daily il Corriere della Sera in an interview.

Le Maire, who will reopen talks with Italy on Tuesday, said he was hopeful France and Italy would find an agreement over STX in the next weeks and that he was going to Rome with a "constructive state of mind." (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Himani Sarkar)