New Dexia bosses promise change
The Franco-Belgian bank’s new CEO and chairman, hired Tuesday, will propose new measures within days to help the troubled company.8 October 2008
BRUSSELS -- The new bosses at Dexia, which was badly hurt by the global financial crisis, on Tuesday promised to announce within days new measures to assure the future of the Franco-Belgian bank.
"I am certain that we will be able to define with the required urgency, in the days ahead, measures which will assure the group's continuity", said Pierre Mariani, Dexia's chief executive officer since Tuesday morning.
"We are facing our difficulties with the very strong support of the Belgian and French governments", he told reporters.
"We are aware that we must work quickly, with the help of shareholders, to formulate an adequate response to the difficulties we face", said former Belgian prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, who was named on Tuesday as Dexia's chairman.
"The last thing I expected yesterday was that I would be here today", said Dehaene, who retired from active politics in 2004 after heading the Belgian government in the 1990s.
The two new Dexia executives were addressing journalists on the 34th floor of the company’s building in Brussels. They refused to take questions.
Their quick appointment, following a meeting of Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Monday, indicated the departures of bank chairman Pierre Richard and chief executive officer Axel Miller.
The dismissal of Richard and Miller were among the conditions of a EUR 6.4 billion bailout package for Dexia, quickly arranged by the French, Belgian and Luxembourg governments on 30 September.
The purchase was agreed as Dexia's share price fell sharply.
Dexia shares were down by almost 12.5 percent on Tuesday and fell by more than 65 percent in 2008.
Overall the Belgian Bel20 index was down 2.29 percent on Tuesday, with another bank, KBC, the biggest loser, down 15 percent.
[AFP / Expatica]