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FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) - German shipping finance provider HSH Nordbank expects its sale to take a while and to result in two separate deals, for its profitable core bank on the one hand and its portfolio of non-performing loans on the other hand, its chief executive said.
"That will be a process that will take more rather than less time," Stefan Ermisch said late on Monday.
He said the core bank, which bundles HSH's corporate client and real estate businesses, could be bought by another lender. The non-performing loans could go to a private equity buyer, he added.
HSH's owners - the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg jointly hold 85 percent - have to privatise the bank under European state-aid rules by the end of February 2018, and have hired Citigroup to organise the process.
HSH last month invited expressions of interest from potential buyers, launching the divestment process. Parties have until 27 February to make their interest known to Citigroup. (Reporting by Andreas Kroener and Alexander Huebner; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Victoria Bryan)