Geely Automobile Holdings has denied media speculation it planned to make a takeover bid for Fiat Chrysler (FCA).

According to Reuters, Geely was one of several Chinese carmakers cited on an auto industry news website which said representatives of "a well-known Chinese automaker" had made an offer this month for FCA, which has a market value of almost US$20bn.

"We don't have such plan at the moment," Geely Automobile executive director Gui Shengyue told Reuters at an earnings briefing, when asked if Geely was interested in Fiat.

He said a foreign acquisition would be complicated, but he did not elaborate.

"But for other (Chinese) brands, it could be a fast track for their development," Gui added.

However, a Reuters source said FCA and Geely Automobile's parent firm, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, had held initial talks late last year, without disclosing their nature.

The news agency's source confirmed Geely was no longer interested in FCA, noting that the parent company had only three months ago announced its first push into south east Asia with the purchase of 49.9% of struggling Proton.

FCA declined to comment to Reuters.

Volkswagen, and General Motors have both said they are not interested in talks with FCA, Reuters noted.

According to Reuters, the Italian government has made no comment on the merger speculation but an Italian daily said on Tuesday Rome was worried about potential job losses. Given FCA's legal domicile is in the Netherlands, and its headquarters is in the UK, the government could not do much to influence a takeover, it added.