German union open to Chinese ownership of Dresdner
FRANKFURT Aug 27 (Reuters) - German services trade union Verdi is open in principle to a takeover of Dresdner Bank by China Development Bank (CDB), it said on Wednesday.
"We have always said that we have nothing against foreign buyers and that it depends entirely on the sort of business model involved," a spokesman for the union said.
"The main thing for us is jobs preservation. Any plan that eliminates jobs is for us a bad plan," the spokesman added.
Dresdner Bank's parent, insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE), is talking to both CDB and Germany's Commerzbank CBKG.DE about selling the loss-making Dresdner, sources familiar with the situation have told Reuters.
Verdi has said that up to 15,000 banking jobs could be at risk in the event of a Commerzbank-Dresdner Bank merger. The two banks employ a total of nearly 67,000 worldwide.
A source close to Allianz told Reuters on Tuesday the talks with both banks are in full swing, while another source close to the negotiations said the Chinese bank stands a good chance.
All the companies declined comment.
Commerzbank has been seen as the favourite buyer and, if it succeeds, the deal would fuse Germany's second- and third-biggest banks, creating a group to rival flagship Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE).
Reuters reported earlier this week that Commerzbank is racing to reach an agreement by the end of this week as it prepares to ask its supervisory board to sign off on the plans, according to sources close to the matter. [ID:nLP543817]
Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper has reported that CDB would be willing to pay a significantly higher amount than Commerzbank to buy Dresdner.
However, questions remain on how ardently CDB would pursue Dresdner.
The official China Securities Journal earlier this month quoted a bank source as saying that CDB was unlikely to proceed with a new large-scale overseas acquisition at present, given the state-owned bank's financial position.
The impact of the subprime-debt crisis on U.S. and European banks had also made the bank, one of three so-called policy banks in China that lend in line with government initiatives, cautious toward foreign acquisitions, the source added.
China Development Bank bought a 3.1 percent stake in Britain's Barclays Plc (BARC.L) last year, but China's cabinet rejected a request last month to increase that stake when Barclays raised fresh capital. (Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Patricia Uhlig; Editing by Quentin Bryar)
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