(Corrects currency conversion, no changes to text)
* Commerzbank CEO says will not step down -paper
* CEO: Not in Germany's interest to exit stake -paper
By Edward Taylor
FRANKFURT, Aug 9 Martin Blessing, chief
executive of German lender Commerzbank, said he will
not step down from the bank until his reform programme has been
"It would be absurd to give up prematurely," Blessing told
German newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview.
"I can and want to bring the reorganisation of Commerzbank
to a successful end. That is my goal," he said.
Commerzbank is overhauling its operations with the aim of
achieving a post tax return on equity of more than 10 percent by
The German government, which invested 18.2 billion
euros($24.4 billion) in the lender as part of a bailout during
the financial crisis, still owns a 17 percent stake.
Commerzbank on Thursday reported a pick-up in its investment
bank and lower provisions for bad shipping loans which took the
sting out of a sharp fall in quarterly net profit.
Earnings missed expectations in each quarter of 2012 and in
this year's first quarter the bank warned it would not pay a
dividend for 2013.
When asked whether the German government was shopping around
its 17 percent stake in Commerzbank, Blessing said: "Strategic
investors want to create something. For this a 17 percent stake
would be too small."
"Furthermore I cannot see how the Federal Government has an
interest in exiting at the current share price. From the point
of view of the Federal Government, the shares must rise and I'm
working on that."
Commerzbank shares were trading 4 percent higher on Friday,
at 7.95 euros, well below the 26 euros at which Germany bought a
($1 = 0.7471 euros)
(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Harro ten Wolde; Editing by
David Cowell and Jane Merriman)