German public-sector bank HSH Nordbank is looking to buy a rival in the private sector in order to strengthen its position in the highly lucrative sector of managing the assets of wealthy private customers, chairman Alexander Stuhlmann said in a newspaper interview Thursday. "We're not yet viewed from the outside as a commercial bank. That would change with the acquisition of a private bank," Stuhlmann told the Financial Times Deutschland . Such a deal would also be good for HSH Nordbank's standing with international rating agencies, which are preparing to lower the debt ratings of public-sector banks when they lose their state guarantees next year. "The rating agencies like to see diversification," Stuhlmann said. He declined to name potential takeover targets, however. "We've had a look around. It's difficult to find a suitable candidate that is up for sale," Stuhlmann said.