WestLB says closing Japan banking, brokerage operations

TOKYO, July 10 (Reuters) - German state bank WestLB WDLGgi.FWDLGgb.F has started liquidating its banking and brokerage businesses in Japan as part of efforts to recover from losses caused by the U.S. subprime rout, a Tokyo-based spokesman said.

The German bank said last month it would close offices in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Buenos Aires and Prague. Its brokerage unit in Tokyo, WestLB securities Pacific Ltd, is also being shut.

WestLB, which had about 50 people at its banking unit and 30 people at the brokerage division, will completely close the office next year, said the spokesman. Employees hired locally will be fired, he said.

The bank will keep WIB Real Estate Finance Japan Co, a real estate finance division, in Japan, the spokesman said. (Reporting by Taro Fuse. Writing by Junko Fujita; Editing by Kim Coghill)