Dec 1 (Reuters) - Commerzbank's chief executive officer Manfred Knof has approached state-backed funds from Asia and the Middle East in recent weeks to gauge their interest in buying a stake of up to 9.9%, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

The German bank is talking to sovereign wealth funds about becoming an anchor investor to shore up its defenses against any opportunistic takeover bid and preserve its independence, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

The bank has also discussed internally the prospect and implications of the German government selling down its stake, the report said.

Commerzbank did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

In November, the bank's management presented a strategy update, saying it would reduce its cost-to-income ratio to 55% by 2027 and aim for a net profit of around 3.4 billion euros ($3.69 billion) in that year.

($1 = 0.9226 euros) (Reporting by Gursimran Kaur in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)