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Volksbanken may sell Investkredit arm -report

Source: Reuters - Thu 17th Sep 2009

Loss-making Austrian cooperative bank Oesterreichische Volksbanken is considering selling its Investkredit arm next year, its chief executive was quoted as saying on Thursday.

"A sale or a partial sale is an option" Volksbanken CEO Gerald Wenzel was quoted as saying in Austrian newspaper Die Presse. Other options include merging Investkredit with Volksbanken but no action was likely before 2010, he said.

Volksbanken, mainly owned by local and regional cooperative banks, is Austria's fourth-biggest lender.

It received a capital injection of 1 billion euros ($1.5billion) from the Austrian government this year after its toxic asset-laden Kommunal kredit arm had to be nationalised in 2008. It expects to post a loss in 2009 as well.

Its Invest kredit arm, with assets of 13.7 billion euros, mainly focuses on corporate clients. Investkredit made a net loss of 9.2 million euros in the first half of 2009. ($1=.6777 euros)

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