UPDATE 2-Nissan seeks closer Renault alliance, wary of French state's role

* Nissan concerned of French state's say in Renault -exec

* Nissan lifts full-yr f'casts for revenue, profit after strong Q2

* Operating profit climbs 44 pct to 201 billion yen

* Q2 revenue jumps 13.2 pct on strong sales in N. America, Europe (Recasts on Nissan comments on Renault alliance)

By Naomi Tajitsu

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nissan Motor Co is concerned about the French government's growing influence over its partner Renault SA as it seeks to strengthen their alliance, an executive at the Japanese automaker said on Monday.

The comments by Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa come amid an escalating power struggle between Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both firms, and Renault's biggest shareholder, the French state, as he tries to rebalance an alliance many investors say is too favourable to Renault.

Even though Renault owns a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, Japan's second largest automaker is the financially stronger partner, reporting on Monday revenues for the first nine months of the year that dwarfed its parent. Nissan holds a 15 percent stake in Renault.

"The French state is having a greater say (in Renault) from the standpoint of governance. This is a big issue, and from Nissan's stance this is a concern," Saikawa told reporters after Nissan reported its second-quarter earnings.

He said Nissan had already spelled out its concerns to the French government and that both companies wanted to strengthen the alliance, although he did not specify how they would do so.

Last week, Reuters reported that the Yokohama-based automaker had drawn up proposals to buy a larger stake in Renault.

Nissan has outperformed Renault, which earns a significant portion of its revenue from supplying engines and vehicles to its Japanese affiliate.

On Monday, the automaker reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter operating profit and raised its full-year forecast by 8 percent, largely due to stronger sales in North America.

Nissan said it now expected a full-year operating profit of 730 billion yen ($6.1 billion), up from a previous forecast of 675 billion and higher than the previous year's 590 billion.

For the first nine months, Nissan reported revenue of 9.2 trillion yen ($76.37 billion), dwarfing the 9.34 billion euro ($10.30 billion) revenue for the same period at Renault. ($1 = 120.4600 yen) (Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

TAGS: Industry