LONDON -- Manufacturers Hanover Corp. has completed the sale of its German securities unit to a French state bank, Caisse des Depots et Consignations, for an undisclosed price.

The unit, Manufacturers Hanover Bank GmbH, mainly trades and underwrites German bonds. It also has seats on three of the main German stock exchanges.

The unit will be renamed Caisse des Depots et Consignations GmbH. The staff, about 30 people, will be retained, a spokesman for the French bank said.

The sale was concluded Tuesday. It represents parts of Hanover's efforts to refocus its European business, the U.S. company said in a statement, and was initiated well before announcement of the pending merger with Chemical Banking Corp.

Hanover will retain its main German banking operations, centered on a full branch in Frankfurt.

The French bank centralizes the funds of France's state savings bank system. In recent international growth it has opened New York-based subsidiaries for asset management, equity brokerage, and trading in mortgage-backed securities.

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