FRANKFURT Aug 28 The sale of Commerzbank
, Germany's second biggest lender, is a possible
option, the economy minister in the German state of Hesse was
quoted on Wednesday as saying.
"In principle this could be considered. In Europe, it would
depend on the partner," Florian Rentsch, told daily Handelsblatt
in an interview when asked if he could envisage Commerzbank
, which is part-owned by the federal government, being
sold in part or in its entirety.
"The main thing is for the bank to manage the turnaround,
with or without a partner," said Rentsch whose region is home to
Rentsch is a party ally of Germany's federal economy
minister and leader of Germany's Free Democrats (FDP) Philipp
Traders said the remarks, the first public comments on the
matter by a named German politician, contributed to the stock's
1.3 percent gain, while the country's blue-chip index DAX
was down 0.4 percent at 0830 GMT.
Shares in the lender jumped last week Thursday after a news
report that the German government, which bailed out Commerzbank
in the financial crisis, might be willing to sell its 17 percent
stake to a European peer.
Monthly Manager Magazin, quoting a source from the finance
ministry, said at the time that by selling to a preferred
bidder, the government hoped to retain some control over the
bank and safeguard its key role as a lender to small and medium
The Hesse regional government has no stake in Commerzbank,
but in Germany's decentralised political system, it would likely
be involved in any sale of such a flagship German lender.
Frankfurt, Hesse's largest city, is home to most of the
country's main financial institutions.
Commerzbank's second-quarter net profit slumped to 43
million euros ($57 million) from 270 million a year ago, but a
pick-up in its investment bank and lower provisions for bad
shipping loans offered some cheer.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Daniela Pegna; editing by