Bloomberg News

German Stocks Gain as Ministers Discuss Greek Rescue; Banks Rise

February 21, 2012

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks rose to a six-month high as euro-area finance ministers met in Brussels to settle terms for a second Greek bailout, and as China cut banks’ reserve requirements.

Commerzbank AG increased 3.6 percent and Deutsche Bank AG added 2.2 percent. BASF SE rose 2.7 percent, following advances in European chemical makers. ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, also climbed.

Germany’s benchmark DAX Index gained 1.5 percent to 6,948.25 at the close of trade in Frankfurt, its highest level since Aug. 1. Of the 30 companies listed on the index, 27 rose and three fell. The broader HDAX advanced 1.5 percent.

“China lowered its minimum reserve requirement and that was 99.9 percent of the reason why the DAX is positive,” said Markus Wallner, an equity strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt.

Euro-area finance ministers met in Brussels today to hammer out a deal to prevent the region’s first sovereign default through a bailout for Greece. Discussions sought to reconcile demands made on Greek leaders, a debt swap among private creditors, the role of the European Central Bank and concerns that austerity will fail. No time was set for a press conference after the meeting.

China cut the amount of cash that banks must set aside as reserves for the second time in three months by 50 basis points effective Feb. 24, according to People’s Bank of China. The cuts are aimed at fueling lending and sustaining economic growth as the housing market cools and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis weighs on exports.

ThyssenKrupp Gains

Commerzbank rose 3.6 percent to 2.15 euros, while Deutsche Bank gained 2.2 percent to 34.58 euros.

ThyssenKrupp, Germany’s largest steelmaker, climbed 4 percent to 21.37 euros. BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical manufacturer, rallied 2.7 percent to 64.66 euros, while Stoxx Europe 600 chemical makers advanced 1.8 percent.

Siemens AG increased 0.9 percent to 75.10 euros. The engineering company sold a blocking stake in OAO Power Machines, Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov’s turbine producer, for no more than $280 million, below the market price, Russia’s Kommersant reported today, citing an unidentified person familiar with the terms of the transaction.

Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-largest semiconductor maker, climbed 3.2 percent to 7.81 euros. The company is among attractive names on the DAX, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

--With assistance from Adria Cimino in Paris. Editors: Alan Soughley, Andrew Rummer

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To contact the reporter on this story: Konstantin Riffler in Frankfurt at kriffler@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net.


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