Commerzbank Gains After Report Santander Interested in Stake

Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-biggest bank, rose in Frankfurt trading after Die Welt reported that Spain’s Banco Santander SA might be interested in buying a stake.

Commerzbank climbed as much as 2.8 percent and was 1.6 percent higher at 6.35 euros at 10:28 a.m. Gains for the past two days were 6.3 percent and valued the company at 7.2 billion euros ($9.4 billion).

Santander “has cast an eye” on the German lender, Die Welt said citing unidentified market participants. The Madrid-based company is one of the few banks that could “immediately” buy a majority stake, though may be dissuaded by Commerzbank’s non-performing shipping and mortgage loans, the newspaper said.

Nils Happich, a spokesman for Commerzbank, declined to comment on the report. A spokeswoman for Santander, who asked not to be named in line with company policy, declined to comment.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble spoke with UBS AG Chairman Axel Weber as part of a plan to judge interest among foreign banks in buying a stake, Focus magazine said at the weekend. Marco Semmelmann, spokesman for the Finance Ministry, declined to comment on the Focus report. It isn’t clear when the government might sell its 17 percent stake in the lender, he said.

Commerzbank got a 18.2 billion-euro state bailout in 2009 and carried out its fifth capital increase in four years in May as soured shipping and real estate assets weighed on its profitability.

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