GM settles hundreds of ignition switch lawsuits
NEW YORK General Motors Co has agreed to settle federal lawsuits by as many as 203 plaintiffs over defective ignition switches in its vehicles, a Friday court filing shows.
FRANKFURT Austria named veteran German banker and restructuring expert Herbert Walter as chairman of bailed-out state bank Hypo Alpe Adria HAABI.UL.
Walter, a former head of Dresdner Bank, replaces Klaus Liebscher, who resigned last month after disagreements with the government over how to deal with Hypo.
Austria nationalized the bank in 2009 when it was on the verge of collapse after a decade of breakneck expansion at home and in the Balkans, fuelled by debt guarantees from its home province of Carinthia.
The Austrian finance ministry said in a statement that Walter will take over after the publication of the bank's 2013 results, which is due some time next month according to the bank's website.
Walter was chief executive at Dresdner Bank from 2003 to 2009, before insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE) sold the bank to Commerzbank (CBKG.DE).
Hypo asked the government on Friday for another 1.43 billion euros ($2 billion) in emergency funds to cover its capital needs through September. Earlier this month, it had signaled the need for an unspecified amount to cope with writedowns until it transfers billions of euros worth of assets to a "bad bank" later this year. Hypo has already received 4.8 billion euros ($6.62 billion) in state aid since 2008.
Austria put an end to uncertainty over Hypo's future earlier this month when it ruled out the possibility of letting it go bust. Instead, the government will wind down the bank via a bad bank that will take on 18 billion euros of Hypo assets, but it will take months until the wind-down facility is set up.
($1 = 0.7256 Euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Michael Shields. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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