January 8, 2009 / 10:40 PM / 11 years ago

German govt not nationalising Commerzbank-SPD head

BERLIN, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The German government is not nationalising Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) and plans to sell its stake again as soon as possible, the chairman of the ruling Social Democrats Franz Muentefering said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the government took a 25 percent plus one share stake in Germany’s second-biggest listed bank in return for an additional 10 billion euro ($13.6 billion) capital injection.

In an interview with ZDF television, Muentefering rejected the suggestion that Germany was on the path to socialism after the government agreed to become the bank’s largest shareholder.

“What’s now happening with Commerzbank is not a partial nationalisation,” said Muentefering, whose SPD share power in a grand coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

“The state is entering for a limited time period, but it will disengage itself again soon and at a reasonable moment. In any case we definitely won’t take an influence on the business operations,” Muentefering said.

What was important is “bringing stability into the whole situation so that our economy can function again,” he added.

The government will appoint two representatives to Commerzbank’s supervisory board, daily Handelsblatt reported.

After a delay due to the company’s bylaws, two state secretaries (deputy ministers) are set to become board members at Commerzbank, the paper cited government sources as saying in advance of an article to be published on Friday. (Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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