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NordLB - next ship finance bank up for sale?

There are reports that Nord Landesbank, the state bank for the German states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, is up for sale. Interested parties are rumoured to include Cerberus

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Following the stressed sale of HSH Nordbank, will NordLB, owned 60 % by the state of Lower Saxony (NS) and 26% by the savings banks of NS, the state of Saxony-Anhalt and the saving banks associations of the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony Anhalt, be next?

NordLB reduced its portfolio from €14B to €12B last year, but the provision for bad debts is still very large.

The NS ministry for financial affairs is considering different options to improve competiveness, include the inclusion of private financial investors. The official line is that an outright sale is not on the agenda. “We stand by NordLB," said a NS government spokesman.

NordLB generated a profit in the first nine months of 2017 of €228M, after heavy losses of €2B in 2016. A key problem is the negative ship’s financing portfolio that the bank took over from Bremer Landesbank.

Last December, NS finance minister Reinhold Hilbers said that NordLB is economically stable and has no refinancing or liquidity problems. “The question remains, however, whether stricter regulations will place more pressure on core capital requirements…We know that the bank’s equity margin is not huge."

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