FRANKFURT, July 16 Spain's Banco Santander
has considered investing in Commerzbank,
Germany's second-biggest bank, the daily Die Welt reported,
citing financial sources.
The paper said on Tuesday that Commerzbank's retail banking
business in particular, which has more than 11 million
customers, could be of interest to Santander.
Santander and Commerzbank declined to comment on the report.
Commerzbank is 17 percent-owned by the German government
following a 2009 bailout when financial turmoil in the wake of
the collapse of Lehman Brothers drove a number of major European
banks to the brink of collapse.
Over the weekend, a German magazine reported that Finance
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had approached the chairman of UBS
about the possibility of the Swiss bank buying the
government's remaining stake in Commerzbank.
Santander already has investments in Germany, having bought
SEB's retail business and General Electric's GE
Money Bank in recent years. It was also once interested in
buying Deutsche Postbank, now owned by Deutsche Bank.
However, billions of euros of risks in Commerzbank's books
related to shipping and real estate loans are expected to make
the bank a tough sell to any potential buyers, including