Landesbanks' subprime exposure 80 bln eur -report

FRANKFURT, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Four German state banks have a combined exposure of almost 80 billion euros ($117.2 billion) to risky assets and the state bank of Bavaria, BayernLB, could need an over 2 billion euro write-down, FOCUS magazine reported.

Germany’s Landesbanks are financial institutions owned by regional government and local community savings banks.

FOCUS, in a preview received on Saturday of an article due for publication on Monday, said the other three banks were WestLB, LBBW and HSH Nordbank.

The banks are considering whether to transfer their U.S. subprime debt-related instruments to a special-purpose vehicle, the weekly magazine reported without citing its sources.

A BayernLB spokesman told Reuters on Saturday that no figures were available, declining further comment. Nobody at LBBW was immediately available for comment.

WestLB this week announced a 2007 loss of 1 billion euros and subprime write-downs of the same magnitude. WestLB said its owners would foot the bill.

LBBW said on Jan. 18 that it expected a 2007 net profit of more than 300 million euros despite taking a hit from credit market problems linked to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.

HSH Nordbank said in November that it had seen no significant impact from the subprime crisis. On Saturday, a spokesman said HSH Nordbank was not aware of any moves to transfer assets to a special purpose vehicle.

HSH Nordbank’s total exposure to securities tied to U.S. subprime mortgages was 1.8 billion euros, the spokesman said.

Two German banks, stock exchange listed IKB IKBG.DE and the state bank of Saxony, SachsenLB, have already been bailed out after subprime losses. (Additional reporting by Christian Kraemer in Munich and Philipp Halstrick in Frankfurt) (Reporting by Peter Starck; editing by Tony Austin)