BERLIN Dec 4 Germany is open to a
nationalisation of Commerzbank if the country's
second-biggest bank cannot raise sufficient capital next year,
Der Spiegel weekly reported on Sunday.
The finance ministry declined to comment on the report.
If the lender fails to find the capital needed to comply
with tighter regulatory requirements by next summer, the
government will reactivate its bank rescue fund Soffin and could
buy up further Commerzbank shares, the magazine reported, citing
Germany, which bought 25 percent of the bank in exchange for
help during the financial crisis, would purchase the majority of
shares if the bank were to undertake a capital increase, the
The bank was believed to need up to about 5 billion euros
($6.7 billion)by mid 2012 to fulfil the tighter capital
requirements made by the European Banking Authority bank
regulator, sources have told Reuters.
The government is against buying Eurohypo, the bank's
loss-making real estate finance unit, the magazine said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Free Democrat (FDP) junior
coalition partner have already rejected that idea, saying banks
should find extra cash themselves whenever possible.
Eurohypo is a milstone around Commerzbank's neck. No private
buyer is in sight and it is widely seen as too big to sell, with
total assets of over 200 billion euros.
On Friday, a source told Reuters a sale of Eurohypo to the
government would bring Commerzbank close to bridging its funding
Commerzbank chief executive Martin Blessing has vowed not to
turn to the state for further help.
The EBA, sifting the results of a second stress test of 70
banks in the EU, was expected to announce next week the amount
of capital the lenders must raise.
($1 = 0.7446 euro)
(Reporting By Madeline Chambers; Editing by Dan Lalor)