Commerzbank Says Cut Shipping Loans to Reach 2016 Target

Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-biggest bank, said it pared shipping loans by 24 percent last year, reaching its goal to cut debt to the crisis-ridden industry to 14 billion euros ($19 billion) three years early.

Commerzbank cut ship financing by 4.5 billion euros, meeting a target it had originally set for 2016, the Frankfurt-based bank said in a statement today. The reduction contributed to the lender’s pledge to accelerate efforts to offload non-core assets and boost its capital base.

Soured shipping loans led the bank to set aside about 600 million euros in loan-loss provisions in 2012 and 2013, a figure it will probably earmark again in 2014 as the industry continues to languish, finance chief Stephan Engels said on a conference call today.

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