Commerzbank to pay dividend for 2015, CEO to step down

Commerzbank will pay a dividend for the first time since 2007 as its recovery gains ground, but is losing its Chief Executive Martin Blessing, the architect who managed the bank's turnaround after the financial crisis.

Germany's second-largest lender said on Monday that it will propose a payout of 20 euro cents per share for 2015, a day after Blessing said he will leave the bank after his contract expires next year.

In the third quarter, Commerzbank beat analysts' expectations for pretax profit as the lender's retail bank thrived, provisions for bad loans decreased and its run-down portfolio of unwanted assets broke even.

Hannelore Foerster | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The lender posted a pretax profit of 401 million euros ($442 million) in the July to September period, compared with 349 million expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

Commerzbank's cash cow Mittelstandsbank unit, which caters to Germany's raft of medium-sized companies, saw operating profit decline, partly due to a write-down on a loan to failed construction group Imtech.

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