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Hypo Real Estate may need more capital: report

MUNICH (Reuters) - German property lender Hypo Real Estate (HRE) HRXG.DE, whose financial troubles forced Germany to nationalize it, has billions of euros in unrealized losses that may swell its need for fresh capital, a newspaper reported.

The Tagesspiegel am Sonntag weekly, citing a confidential Bundesbank study, said HRE had 16.3 billion euros ($23.8 billion) in unrealized losses on loans and securities on its books.

If these flow through to its profit and loss statement, HRE would need a total of 26 billion euros in fresh capital to ensure it was properly capitalized, the paper said.

HRE, almost entirely owned by the state, has already got 3 billion euros in fresh capital with 7 billion more earmarked by the end of the year.

A spokesman for HRE described the figures in the report as “unrealistic” because they assumed the bank would sell off assets immediately and take actual losses, which was not planned.

“On the contrary, HRE wants to reduce its portfolio over time in a way that does not disrupt the market and which preserves value,” he said.

The Bundesbank was not available for comment.

At the end of 2008, the difference between HRE’s assets at market value and the price at which they were obtained stood at 31.5 billion euros.

HRE has been propped up with 100 billion euros in support from the government and other lenders after its business model collapsed, making it one of Germany’s highest-profile casualties of the credit crisis.

Bank rescue fund Soffin holds a 90 percent stake and is set to squeeze out the remaining shareholders -- including U.S. financial investor J.C. Flowers -- by paying them 1.30 euros per share. The stock closed at 1.42 euros on Friday.

(Reporting by Peter Maushagen; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Dan Lalor)

$1 = 0.6847 euro

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