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German Lenders’ Greek Claims Fell 42% in a Year, Bundesbank Says

German lenders’ claims on the Greek public sector declined 42 percent in the 12 months through February if loans from the federal government’s KfW Group development bank are excluded, according to Bundesbank data.

The claims, such as bond holdings and loans, fell to 9.65 billion euros ($13.9 billion) from 16.6 billion euros, the data show. The latest figure didn’t include 8.4 billion euros in loans provided by KfW to Greece as part of Germany’s contribution to the European Union’s rescue package.

German financial companies such as Deutsche Bank AG, Allianz SE and Commerzbank AG in May 2010 reached a voluntary agreement to provide 8.1 billion euros in financing to Greece to support the debt-stricken nation. Last year’s commitment came after the EU and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a 110 billion-euro rescue package for Greece, which has failed to prevent contagion from the debt crisis.

“We are strictly adhering to the agreement,” Ronald Weichert, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, said today. Including Deutsche Postbank AG, Germany’s largest lender had net sovereign risks related to Greece of 1.6 billion euros at the end of last year, the bank said in March. No comparative figure from last year is available, Weichert said.

German and EU leaders are pushing for private investors to share the burden of financing a second rescue package for Greece, which remains shut out of capital markets. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet yesterday reiterated his opposition to any solution forcing private-sector participation, saying it amounts to a “credit event” and would be an “enormous mistake.”

Insurers’ Holdings

Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, had Greek sovereign-debt exposure of 2.9 billion euros at the end of March, compared with 2.8 billion euros at the end of June, it said in quarterly reports.

German insurance companies such as Allianz, Munich Re and Talanx AG reduced their holdings of Greek government debt in March by 52 percent to 2.79 billion euros from a year earlier, according to an internal government document obtained by Bloomberg News yesterday.

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