VIENNA Aug 5 Austria may take another crack at
selling Kommunalkredit after failing last year to
reprivatise the public-sector finance specialist which it
nationalised in 2008, the bank said on Tuesday.
Posting an 8.4 million euro ($11.3 million) first-half net
profit under IFRS accounting rules after a year-ago loss, it
noted the European Commission had last year authorised a sale of
up to half the bank's assets as of July 2013, or up to 5.8
billion euros. It now has total assets of 12.4 billion.
The FIMBAG agency that oversees Austrian state stakes in
banks "is in charge of reviewing the potential implementation of
such a transaction", Kommunalkredit said in a statement.
Reuters reported last week that such a sale might come,
citing people familiar with the matter.
Kommunalkredit's sale was originally due to close by
mid-2013 but the offers Vienna got last year proved unacceptably
low in a tough market for selling bank assets, forcing Vienna to
miss a deadline set by EU regulators in Brussels.
That meant the Commission had the right to appoint a trustee
to sell the bank, but Austria asked Brussels not to take that
step and in return Kommunalkredit stopped making new loans.
Chief Executive Alois Steinbichler told reporters he did not
foresee the need for any more state aid to either Kommunalkredit
or KA Finanz, the "bad bank" spun off to absorb its
($1 = 0.7453 Euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Louise Heavens and