Commerzbank has acquired an additional 26.25% stake in Bank Forum and increased its stake to around 89.3%, paving the way for a potential capital increase at the Ukrainian lender.

Earlier, in March 2008, Commerzbank had acquired a stake of 60% plus 1 share, holding roughly 63% before the current transaction.

The transaction comes just days after the Germany-based bank participated in a capital increase at Polish unit BRE Bank and amid indications that writedowns on bad debt are still on the rise in eastern Europe.

Reportedly, Bank Forum has been weighed down by its exposure to the ailing Ukrainian economy. IMF has called on Western banks to come to the rescue of eastern Europe.

As at December 31, 2009 the regulatory capital of Bank Forum totals approximately UAH2.6bn. It corresponds to a capital adequacy ratio of roughly 16.7%.

Commerzbank aims to make a profit from its eastern European operations by 2011 after seeing investments sour after an aggressive expansion into the region.