August 9, 2019 / 9:14 AM / 9 days ago

Germany to review options for its 15% Commerzbank stake

BERLIN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Germany is looking for an external advisor to evaluate options for its billion-euro stake in Commerzbank, the country’s second-biggest listed lender, a public tender offer showed.

Berlin, through the Federal Finance Agency which oversees state investments, earlier this week posted a public offer to find a financial expert for "consulting regarding Commerzbank stake". (offer in German: bit.ly/2MOTFaJ)

The step by the German government, by far the bank’s biggest shareholder with a stake of just over 15%, comes at a time shares in the bank are nearing an all-time low following a failed merger attempt with cross-town rival Deutsche Bank .

Financial daily Boersen Zeitung first reported on the announcement on Friday.

The German finance ministry on Friday said it was seeking an advisor to evaluate Commerzbank’s business model and “develop strategic recommendations for the federal equity stake management.”

The job will include analysing “proceeds from core business areas, cost savings, contributions to digitalisation (...) as well as potential further synergies”, the offer showed.

The German government entered Commerzbank as part of a massive rescue scheme during the 2008/2009 financial crisis. It has acquired its stake at around 26 euros per share. Commerzbank shares were down 1.74% on Friday, at 5.30 euros, 10 cents close to the record low it hit in August 2016.

Commerzbank’s management is currently working on a new strategic plan due to be presented later this year. (Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker, Writing by Tassilo Hummel)

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