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Commerzbank Investor Norway Raises Stake After Stock Falls to Record Low

Steven Arons

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One of Commerzbank AG’s biggest investors, Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, raised its stake in the German lender after the stock fell to a record low.

The kingdom held 3.1% of voting rights in the German lender, according to a statement Thursday, pushing it past the threshold at which it must issue an official notification of its stake. The fund previously held about 2.5%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Commerzbank slumped to a record low last week as an economic slowdown and the prospect of lower interest rates raise doubts about Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke turnaround. Zielke is currently working on a strategy update that may include more job cuts and branch closures. The German government, the bank’s largest shareholder with a 15.6% holding, is looking to hire a consultant to help advise it on what to do with the stake.

The increase turns the Norwegian wealth fund into Commerbank’s fifth-largest shareholder, according to the data. Shares of the lender rose 1.2% at 11:09 a.m. in Frankfurt.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Arons in Frankfurt at sarons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Christian Baumgaertel

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