Berlin wants to keep Commerzbank stake until 2016-report

BERLIN Sun May 25, 2014 7:16am EDT

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BERLIN May 25 (Reuters) - The German government intends to retain its stake in Commerzbank until at least 2016 in the hope of getting a more favourable price, magazine Spiegel reported on Sunday, adding Berlin had already turned away some interested parties.

Spiegel added that reforms of Germany's second biggest lender were only half done and a change of ownership would not be constructive.

Asked about the report, a finance ministry spokesman said: "The German government has no plans to sell its stake."

He declined to comment on any timeframe.

Berlin acquired its 17-percent stake, which it holds through its Soffin bank bailout fund, as part of an 18-billion-euro ($23.7 billion) rescue during the financial crisis.

The bank's shares closed at 11.4 euros on Friday, well below the level the government would require in order to avert selling at a loss. (Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Jason Neely)

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