Belgian bank KBC sells units to Japanese, Australian firms

5th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Belgian bank KBC has sold bond and derivatives trading businesses to Japanese firm Daiwa Capital Markets for one billion dollars (800 million euros), the companies said on Friday.

KBC also announced that it was selling its reinsurance unit Secura NV to Australian insurance company QBE for 267 million euros as the Belgian group focuses on its core banking business.

KBC, also a major insurance business, is being forced to divest assets under the oversight of the European Commission after the bank had to be bailed out by the Belgian government during the global financial crisis.

The transaction with Daiwa involved KBC's global convertible bond and Asian equity derivatives businesses.

The sale consists of 800 million dollars for the trading position and 200 million dollars for staff, IT infrastructure and other assets. The businesses employ around 150 people in London, New York and Hong Kong.

The deal is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter following regulatory approval.

"The acquisition cements and accelerates our plans to become a major player in the Asian equity derivatives and global convertible bonds space," Toshinao Matsushima, global head of markets at Daiwa, said in a statement.

Separately, KBC and QBE announced the sale of Secura which is expected to close in the third quarter.

Located in Brussels, Secura NV is a specialised European non-life and life reinsurer with a diversified and Europe-focused customer portfolio. It employs 86 people.

© 2010 AFP

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