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http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-01/kampeter-sees-bank-regulators-accepting-commerzbank-capital-plan.html

Bloomberg News

Kampeter Sees Bank Regulators Accepting Commerzbank Capital Plan

February 01, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- German Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter said he’s confident that the European Banking Authority will accept Commerzbank AG’s recapitalization plan that foresees no government aid.

“I have no doubt” that the EBA will approve the plan, Kampeter said in a New York interview with Bloomberg Television broadcast today. “It’s not my decision, it’s the EBA’s decision, but I don’t have any signs that are to the contrary.”

Commerzbank Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing said Jan. 19 that asset sales, retained earnings and capital management fulfilled 57 percent of 5.3 billion-euro ($7 billion) target by the end of 2011. European leaders are demanding banks increase reserves to bolster confidence after investors agreed to accept losses on Greek government bonds.

The Frankfurt-base bank said it can strengthen capital by 6.3 billion euros by raising funds and reducing risk-weighted assets by June 30. That’s more than the 5.3 billion-euro shortfall the EBA told the lender to plug.

Blessing has made “an impressive plan and they achieved a lot of it, actually, now, and they will need to my perception no capital injection by the taxpayer,” Kampeter said in the interview, which was conducted yesterday.

Germany’s banking system has “some capital needs,” stress tests have shown, “but every bank will fulfill it and we will even fulfill the enhanced capital requirements” by the EBA, Kampeter said.

The deputy minister also said that more mergers between the so-called Landesbanks are possible and that further steps should be taken after Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen’s decision to buy business from WestLB AG.

--Editors: James Hertling, Simone Meier

To contact the reporters on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1@bloomberg.net; Sara Eisen in New York at seisen2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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