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HSH Nordbank takes step toward privatization, off-loads €1.64B of NPLs

HSH Nordbank AG has off-loaded €1.64 billion in nonperforming assets, mainly by selling them, as it prepares for privatization.

HSH Nordbank sold an €800 million aviation finance portfolio to Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd. and €540 million in continental European real estate loans to Bank of America Corp.'s Bank of America Merrill Lynch, it said in a news release, without disclosing the prices.

HSH Nordbank was also able to slash another 300 million of nonperforming assets, mainly through individual sales to further investors but also through repayments, it said. UBS helped market the portfolio.

The deals, set to close in the second quarter, should cut the bank's nonperforming exposure ratio by about 1.3 percentage points, and improve its common equity Tier 1 ratio by 0.1 percentage point. HSH Nordbank's CET1 ratio stood at 13.7% at the end of September 2016.

The NPL reductions come under an agreement between the EU, the German federal government and federal states on the bank's planned privatization by the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, the bank said, adding that it was also in advanced-stage talks to sell other nonperforming exposures.