BERLIN Nov 3 The chief executive of Commerzbank
said Germany's second largest lender should not remain
independent at all costs, a German newspaper reported.
"To me, autonomy is no end in itself," Martin Blessing was
quoted as saying by weekly Welt am Sonntag in an interview
published on Sunday. "I want our employees to have the feeling
that they can do something meaningful for the economy."
That marks a shift in emphasis by the CEO, who told daily
Handelsblatt in August that he expected the Frankfurt-based bank
to be still independent when it celebrates its 150-year
anniversary in 2020.
Local media recently reported that the German government,
which invested 18.2 billion euros ($24.55 billion) in
Commerzbank as part of a bailout during the financial crisis,
aims to sell off its 17 percent stake to another European bank.
Major lenders including BNP, Unicredit and UBS have played
down speculation linking them to Commerzbank, which analysts
expect to post a sharp drop in third-quarter pretax profit on
($1 = 0.7414 euros)
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer)