Canada's Magna has asked Russian automaker GAZ to bid for a share of Opel, Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin has said.

"Canadian-Austrian company Magna asked Russian financial institutions and GAZ to make a proposal to Opel," Putin said, according to the transcript of an interview with Japanese media provided to Reuters by the Russian government.

Putin was quoted as saying Russia would not intervene in a possible deal that German media said could be part of a plan to create a car giant producing up to 5m vehicles a year.

"These are commercial questions. Everything needs to be carefully calculated," Putin was quoted as saying. "The Russian government is attentively following what is going on."

German media have said Magna would take over Opel jointly with debt-laden GAZ and Russian state bank Sberbank, Reuters noted.

According to the report, GAZ and owner Oleg Deripaska have repeatedly denied being interested in Opel while Sberbank also has denied any bid.

Media reports over the weekend said both Magna and Fiat have presented proposals for Opel to the German government.

On Friday, Magna's Canadian-Austrian-Russian plan for Opel emerged with a German daily citing company sources as saying Magna International wanted to create a European-Russian automaker making up to 5m cars a year.

Under its proposal, dubbed project 'Beam', the company would take over Opel jointly with GAZ and Sberbank to sell 1m cars a year to the Russian market, the paper said, adding that Magna would present the proposal to the German government on 20 May.

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