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German bankruptcies up

FRANKFURT, Mar 9 – German bankruptcies jumped sharply last year, rising by more than 11 percent and posting the first annual increase since 2003, data released on Tuesday by the national statistics office showed.

Almost 32,700 companies and more than 130,000 other debtors declared themselves insolvent in 2009 as Germany suffered its worst recession in 60 years, with Europe\’s biggest economy contracting by five percent.

Among the high-profile companies that went under were the retail group Arcandor and its mail-order unit Quelle, and Qimonda, the flash-memory division of chip-maker Infineon.

In terms of the volume of debt connected with the bankruptcies, the Destatis office said it had leapt to around 85 billion euros (116 billion dollars) from 33.5 billion one year earlier.

Private insolvencies increased by three percent to around 101,000 people, Desttis said.

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