KBC share trading suspended ahead of EU decision

19th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Trading of shares in leading Belgian bank KBC was suspended at the company's request Wednesday, ahead of an EU decision on the lenders restructuring scheme following a string of public bailouts.

BRUSSELS - KBC, Belgium's third-biggest bank by market value, has been among the hardest hit by the financial crisis in Europe and has gone cap in hand to the public coffers three times since last October.

The European Commission "is expected to communicate around noon (1100 GMT)," the bank said in a statement.

"Pending the decision and the communication from the European Commission, KBC Group NV has requested to have its share suspended," the statement added.

After the state bailouts the EU Commission, guardian of competition issues in the 27-nation bloc, called for restructuring as it has done for other European banks in a similar position.

KBC received an injection of 3.5 billion euros of public money in October 2008 and another two billion euros from the regional Flemish government in January, with an option on another 1.5 billion if necessary.

The Belgian state stepped in for the third time in May offering a government guarantee of potential losses of 14.8 billion euros from toxic investments.


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