WestLB is in the process of negotiating selling its stake in TUI, Europe's largest tourism group, to a strategic investor, the bank's CEO, Thomas Fischer, told the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper. Fischer said the bank, which holds a 31-percent share in TUI, hoped to complete the deal in 2004, the paper wrote in its Monday edition. Rumors have circulated for a month that TUI had been approached by interested parties, including so-called vulture funds, which buy securities in distressed investments. Fischer said WestLB would not sell the shares to such investors. His comments mark the first time the bank has confirmed that negotiations are underway.