The state-owners of Germany's biggest shipping bank, HSH Nordbank, have received preliminary offers offers to take over the struggling bank, say the owners, federal states Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, according to several media.
"A first review of the offers shows they are a good basis on which to successfully continue to the sales process," write the bank's two owners, who own a combined 85 percent of the shares.
The deadline for submitting binding offers on the bank expires in the fall, and the owners do not name the parties currently showing an interest in the bank.
Reuters has previously reported that China's HNA Group and Apollo Global Management are interested in HSH Nordbank, which has been the recipient of massive state aid during the financial crisis and which, according to Germany's agreement with the EU Commission, must be sold and privatized by the end of February 2018 at the latest.
By the end of 2016, HSH Nordbank had a portfolio of shipping loans totaling EUR 7 billion.
Problems have accumulated for the five biggest German shipping banks as the volume of non-performing loans to shipping escalates, noted ratings bureau Moody's in a recent report on the basis of the published annual reports from banks.
The five shipping banks had outstanding shipping loans for a total EUR 59 billion at the end of 2016, reported Moody's, and the bureau projects more problems ahead for the banks.
English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch