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BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union has approved state guarantees worth (EURO)18 billion ($24 billion) for an ailing French real estate bank on condition Paris presents a plan to restructure or close it within six months.

The EU Commission's anti-trust regulator said Thursday the guarantee for Credit Immobilier de France is necessary to avoid major disruption in the French banking system as a whole.

It said the state guarantee is necessary to cover the real estate lender's urgent liquidity needs and to give it time to draw up a restructuring or orderly resolution plan.

French authorities bailed out CIF after it ran into a funding crunch following rating downgrades last year.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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