* CEO says Q1 was solid in operational terms
* Books restructuring charge of 500 million euros in Q1
* Shareholders approve 2.5 bln eur capital increase
(Adds shareholder vote, background on capital increase)
FRANKFURT, April 19 Commerzbank warned
shareholders that restructuring charges linked to job cuts would
lead to a net loss in the first quarter, as it won investors'
approval for a capital increase to repay some of the German
government's bailout funding.
Restructuring charges of 500 million euros ($654
million)from its decision to cut 4,000 to 6,000 jobs by 2016
weighed on first-quarter earnings, Germany's second biggest
lender said on Friday.
Still Commerzbank made progress in divesting units and
shrinking capital-intensive businesses, Chief Executive Martin
"We had a solid start in operational terms in the first
quarter," the CEO told shareholders gathered for their annual
meeting in Frankfurt. Investors voted 96 percent in favour of
the planned 2.5 billion euro capital increase.
Commerzbank's European peers, which are set to report
quarterly earnings from next week, are seen suffering from bad
loans as the euro zone crisis drags on, while revenues from
investment banking remain under pressure.
"2013 will not be an easy year," said Blessing, who had
waived his 2012 bonus. He added he could not make a reliable
Even though the majority of shareholders gave the green
light for increasing Commerzbank's capital, many vented their
anger at the meeting over what one described as "cap hike
orgies" that diluted their shares.
Other shareholders accused Commerzbank board members of
filling their own pockets while not paying a dividend since
Since a 2008 bail-out in the wake of the financial crisis,
the German government owns 25 percent of Commerzbank, but its
holding will be diluted to roughly 18 percent as it will not
participate in the capital increase.
The measures will increase Commerzbank's core Tier One
capital ratio to 8.6 percent and will allow it to reach a
9-percent target, set by regulators for 2019, by the end of 2014
($1 = 0.7644 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Richard Chang)