UPDATE 1-Germany's Hypo Real to start Depfa auction soon - source
* Source confirms article in German magazine Der Spiegel
* Finance ministry says is confident Hypo Real will reach sound solution
FRANKFURT Aug 25 (Reuters) - German bank Hypo Real Estate (HRE) plans to start a bidding process in the next few weeks to sell its public finance specialist unit, Depfa, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Sunday.
The source, who declined to be identified because the sale process is confidential, was confirming an article in German magazine Der Spiegel, which also reported that possible buyers for the state-rescued German bank include financial investors and non-European banks.
The finance ministry said on Sunday that it was up to the management and the supervisory board of HRE to privatise Depfa and that it was confident the bank would reach a sound solution within the given time frame.
Reuters reported in May that HRE had appointed Citi to organise the sale, which it must complete by the end of 2014 as a condition for the European Commission's approval of its bailout.
HRE plans to start the sale of Deutsche Pfandbriefbank in 2014, Der Spiegel reported.
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