Troubled German Lender IKB Posts Whopping Loss | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.05.2008
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Troubled German Lender IKB Posts Whopping Loss

German lender IKB reported a net loss of around one billion euros ($1.6 billion) for the first nine months of its 2007/2008 fiscal year. Hit hard by the subprime crisis, the bank had been rescued with public funds.

Silhouettes in front of an IKB sign

IKB is looking for buyers

In contrast to its heavy loss, IKB, which specializes in loans to small and medium sized businesses, earned a profit of 142 million euros over the same nine-month period, it said in a statement issued on Tuesday, May 27.

IKB maintained its forecast of a 200-million-euro loss for the full 2007/2008 fiscal year, citing several loss-cutting effects that would kick in during the fourth quarter.

Slammed last year by losses from investments in securities backed by high-risk US mortgages, the bank was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was kept above water with several major rescue packages from private banks and from its main shareholder, state-owned development bank KfW.

Sale plans on track

Also on Tuesday, IKB said plans to sell a majority share are underway according to plan. KfW's 45.5 percent share is up for bids, as is a 10.7 percent share from the private research fund Stiftung Industrieforschung.

According to media reports, investors Ripplewood and Lone Stars as well as the Swedish bank SEB have expressed interest in IKB.

"KfW has received a series of interesting, substantiated offers and intends to short list the number of bidders and thereafter start decisive negotiating with due-diligence," the bank said in a statement.

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