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Renault-Nissan doubles savings goal: sources

By Laurence Frost and Gilles Guillaume

PARIS (Reuters) - Renault and Nissan <7201.T> plan to step up cooperation and double annual savings from their carmaking alliance to 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in 2016, sources with knowledge of the plans said.

Renault shares rose as much as 9.8 percent to 37.725 euros on the news.

Carlos Ghosn, head of both carmakers, outlined the new goal at an internal presentation to Renault and Nissan managers, people who attended the Sept 25-26 meeting said. They asked not to be identified because the target has not been published.

"Ghosn said we need to seek further synergies to get to double where we are today," an alliance executive said.

In parallel with their operational savings push, Renault and Nissan are reviewing the cross shareholdings underpinning their 13-year-old alliance, people with knowledge of the matter said. Discussions are at a preliminary stage, they added.

Renault currently holds a 43.4 percent stake in its larger Japanese affiliate, which in turn owns 15 percent of Renault.

The companies would not comment on savings goals or the "shifting pendulum of speculation about the alliance's corporate structure", a Renault-Nissan spokeswoman said.

"We seek more and more synergies every year," she added.

To meet the new goal, the allied carmakers would centralize more activities under their joint holding company, Renault-Nissan BV, sources said.

The Dutch-registered venture, which already runs some purchasing and logistics operations for both companies, will extend into new markets such as Russia and broaden its remit in back-office functions such as information services, they added.

As of 1236 GMT, Renault shares were 8.7 percent higher at 37.33 euros. Nissan shares closed 1.4 percent higher in Tokyo earlier on Monday.

($1 = 0.7712 euros)

(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by James Regan)

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