Commerz CEO says finances require no aid

City A.M. Reporter
COMMERZBANK has suffered setbacks in its operating business in June but the bank&rsquo;s finances are solid enough to do without further state aid, according to the bank&rsquo;s chief executive Martin Blessing.<br /><br />This month&rsquo;s slippage had been preceded by a calmer May, Blessing is quoted as saying in an interview with Handelsblatt due for publication this morning.<br /><br />The development at Commerzbank&rsquo;s business units over the second quarter had been &ldquo;very diverse,&rdquo; he added. Asked about speculation the bank may need further government support, Blessing said: &ldquo;No, I don't see that. We have a comfortable capital base.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;I will deal with it should it become relevant,&rdquo; he was also quoted as saying.<br /><br />The German government has to date given Commerzbank &euro;8.2bn (&pound;6.98bn) in fresh capital, with a pledge for an additional &euro;10bn. It has also granted &euro;15bn in guarantees for bonds.<br /><br />Commerzbank&rsquo;s commercial mortgage unit Eurohypo could return to profit this year because the value of parts of Eurohypo&rsquo;s portfolio, such as government bonds, had recovered, Blessing said.<br /><br />The chief executive added in the interview that even though the number of non-performing loans to businesses was on the rise there was currently no wave of insolvencies among Germany&rsquo;s so-called &ldquo;Mittelstand&rdquo;, medium-sized owner-led companies that are seen as the backbone of the nation&rsquo;s economy.<br /><br />Earlier this month Blessing told investors Commerzbank was aiming to achieve sustainable operating profit of at least &euro;4bn in 2012. He also said there had been an easing of concerns involving the risky assets the bank obtained through its acquisition of Dresdner Bank from insurer Allianz.