Banking Crisis

Commerzbank Takes Up German State Aid

Tom Burroughes Editor London 4 November 2008

Commerzbank Takes Up German State Aid

Commerzbank has asked the German government for €8.2 billion ($10.5 billion) in cash and €15 billion more in debt guarantees.

Commerzbank also posted a third-quarter net loss of €285 million.

The international financial crisis cost the bank €1.1 billion in losses from market operations, the statement added.

In September, the German financial conglomerate Allianz sold Dresdner Bank to  Commerzbank for €9.8 billion in a deal that had been widely expected.

UK private bank Kleinwort Benson is owned by Dresdner.

In its move to take up state assistance, Commerzbank responded to pressure from German authorities for banks to apply for aid under a rescue package that includes up to €80 billion in capital injections and €400 billion in loan guarantees.

The capital infusion will take the form of a "silent participation," which means Berlin will not become an active shareholder in Commerzbank, and the cash will go directly towards boosting the bank's so-called Tier1, or core capital.

That means investors' holdings will not be diluted in Commerzbank, which can also use a capital increase as it is acquiring Dresdner Bank, the third biggest private German bank from the insurance group Allianz.

In accepting state aid, Commerzbank agreed to forego paying a dividend in 2009 and 2010 and its directors will see their salaries capped at €500,000 per year.

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