Statement by HSH Nordbank
Hamburg/Kiel, January 11, 2009 - HSH Nordbank wishes to emphasize the following points:
HSH Nordbank’s business model has two mainstays. Firstly, as a regional bank it holds a leading market position in terms of corporate client business in North Germany. In addition to this, the Bank is an international sector specialist with proven expertise, for example as the world’s largest provider of ship finance. Here HSH Nordbank supports its corporate clients globally with wide-ranging know-how while taking the underlying international setting into account and observing the relevant laws.
In so-called offshore regions, such as the Cayman Islands and the Channel Islands, since the 1990s HSH Nordbank has
a) set up companies to facilitate hedging structures in lending operations with corporate clients
b) set up refinancing companies with a view to strengthening the international funding of the Bank and SMEs in the region
c) subscribed to shares in private equity funds as a Bank.
HSH Nordbank does not work with private individuals in these regions and no equity offerings have been made to private individuals.
HSH Nordbank’s exposures are transparent and known to the German authorities in their entirety. They are continuously checked by the responsible authorities at regular intervals. Material holdings are recorded in HSH Nordbank’s annual reports and thus available for inspection by anyone.
The exposures in the Cayman Islands and Channel Islands do not result in any tax benefits for HSH Nordbank, nor are taxes withheld from the tax authorities. Tax fraud is a criminal act subject to prosecution. HSH Nordbank thus totally rejects the accusation that it is involved either actively or passively in tax evasion.
Servicing silent capital contributions
Liquidity is still very tight on global financial markets. Liquidity is thus a key factor for the success of banking operations.
At the AGM on December 19, 2008, HSH Nordbank shareholders thus approved a special arrangement for a part of its silent capital. The AGM and the Supervisory Board see this decision as a confidence-building measure for this group of investors, which is important for the Bank (mainly insurance companies and banks). Failure to make this payout would have involved the considerable risk of a ten-digit outflow of liquidity. The legality of this measure was confirmed by a corresponding expert report drawn up by independent experts.
The subject of the report comprises silent capital contributions acquired between 1997 and 2000 within the framework of a so-called private placement with German institutional investors. The size of these silent capital contributions comes to EU 861 million.
The silent capital contributions come with a coupon, the payout of which, amounting to EUR 64 million for the respective financial year, is contingent upon HSH Nordbank reporting a net income.
The information contained in this press release does not constitute an offer for the sale of any type of Hamburg Commercial Bank AG securities. Securities of Hamburg Commercial Bank AG may not be sold in the United States without registration pursuant to US securities legislation, unless such a sale takes place on the basis of relevant exceptional provisions.
This press information can contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our beliefs and assumptions, on information currently available to us which we consider reliable. Forward-looking statements include all statements which are not historical facts, including information concerning future growth prospects and future economic developments.
Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions relating to future events and are subject to uncertainties, risks and other factors, a large number we cannot influence. Thus actual events can differ considerably from the forward-looking statements made. We make no warranty for the correctness or completeness of these statements or the actual occurrence of the statements made. Furthermore, we assume no obligation for updating the forward-looking statements after this information has been published.