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German banks seek state aid, report claims

German banks seek state aid, report claims

Two regional German public banks want to call on aid from the government as part of a huge operation to rescue the banking sector, the magazine Der Spiegel claimed Saturday.
It identifies the banks as Duesseldorf-based WestLB and Hamburg-based HSH Nordbank.
"We have to arm the bank against the forthcoming storms," said WestLB's head, Heinz Hilgert, who plans to ask its supervisory body next month to use all the help made available as part of the rescue plan.
It is checking in particular whether it needs to ask for direct recapitalization aid, Der Spiegel said.
In February the western regional state (Land) of North Rhine-Westphalia and local savings institutions made available a guarantee of five billion euros (US$6.35 billion) to WestLB.
The head of the regional HSH Nordbank, Hans Berger, also wants to take advantage of government guarantees provided for under Berlin's massive aid plan of 480 billion euros (US$610 billion) for the banking sector, the magazine said.
Shareholders will make a decision next week, it said.
So far only the Bavarian public bank BayernLB has sought state aid, of 5.4 billion euros.