March 28, 2012 / 11:46 AM / 6 years ago

EU's Almunia: Commerzbank restructuring deal agreed

BRUSSELS, March 28 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had reached agreement with Germany and its state-backed lender Commerzbank on a restructuring plan related to a state bailout and will announce the details on Friday.

“For Commerzbank... we have finally an agreement. The formal decision will be adopted... on Friday, in a couple of days,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told a news briefing.

“You know that we were discussing how to modify the commitment regarding (mortgage unit) Eurohypo and we have reached an agreement with Commerzbank and the German authorities, and this is very positive.”

He gave no details of the decision.

Commerzbank was ordered to sell its Eurohypo mortgage bank by 2014 after the European Commission cleared its 18-billion-euro bailout in the financial crisis. But it has run into difficulties trying to find a buyer for the loss-making unit.

Almunia also said it had not yet been possible to reach agreement on restructuring German lender BayernLB.

“There are still some aspects that continue to be discussed with the savings bank, with the German authorities, at the different levels. I hope that we will close soon this case, but we are not yet there, unfortunately,” he told the briefing.

Scores of financial institutions across the 27-country European Union had to seek state support during the financial crisis.

Almunia has ordered more than 40 bailed-out banks across the 27-country European Union to sell assets, halt dividend payments and acquisitions to ensure they do not have an unfair advantage over rivals that had not taken state help. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Charlie Dunmore; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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