BayernLB [BAYLB.UL] entered into a partnership with Standard Chartered on Thursday to get a foothold in Asia as the German bank seeks to capitalize on struggles at larger rivals.
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BayernLB expects the cooperation - through which Standard Chartered will help finance Asian operations for German companies - to attract export-oriented small and medium-sized businesses, commonly referred to as the Mittelstand.
BayernLB, a local government owned lender, will in turn help provide loans for clients of Standard Chartered looking to move into the German market. Standard Chartered is based in London but has geared its business heavily towards Asia.
No financial targets for the partnership were given.
BayernLB hopes the deal will give it another leg up as Germany's two biggest banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank , restructure to cut costs.
BayernLB's A2��credit rating from Moody's on its long-term unsecured debt is a key advantage in the fight for corporate clients in Germany, BayernLB's corporate banking head Michael Buecker told media in Frankfurt.
"The single-A rating has such importance you can't imagine," Buecker said. "A lot of other banks now still have to detoxify."
Deutsche Bank has a Baa2 rating while Commerzbank has a Baa1 rating.
BayernLB has also had to recover from major setbacks in recent years, including at the height of the financial crisis when the German federal state of Bavaria which owns the bank funded a 10-billion-euro ($11 billion) bailout of the lender.
($1 = 0.9174 euros)
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Andreas Kroener; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)