BERLIN - A spokesman for the German Finance Ministry on Wednesday declined to comment when asked whether the government expected an announcement before Friday on a possible tie-up of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

"It's a decision of two private sector companies that we won't comment on here," the spokesman told a news conference.

People familiar with the matter said on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank was expected to announce by Friday at the latest an update on its merger talks with Commerzbank, which are now in their sixth week.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen Writing by Michelle Martin Editing by Paul Carrel) ((; +49 30 2888 5223; Reuters Messaging: