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Commerzbank agrees to partial nationalisation

Shareholders of the second-biggest banking group in Germany, Commerzbank, have approved almost unanimously the goverment acquisition of 25 percent of the bank in order to have enough cash to face the financial crisis.

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AFP - Commerzbank shareholders on Saturday approved the German government's acquisition of more than 25 percent of the country's second-largest bank in connection with state aid, the bank said.

The government has injected more than 18 billion euros (24 billion dollars) into Commerzbank and its entry into the bank's capital was adopted almost unanimously, the company said in a statement.

A two-thirds vote was required for the 25 percent plus one share stake.

The bank would issue 295 million new shares at a price of six euros per share, the statement said.

The new shares would be acquired by the Financial Market Stabilisation Fund (SoFFin) -- the government's rescue fund -- at issue price, said the statement.

Now "Commerzbank is weatherproof and will implement its new strategy without delay," said Commerzbank's chairman Martin Blessing.

Earlier this month, Commerzbank reported a sharp quarterly loss because of the financial crisis and its purchase of Dresdner Bank, but said it would recover by 2011 without more state aid.

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