Parliament wants debate on ABN takeover

23rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 August 2007, THE HAGUE (AFP) - A majority of parties in the Dutch parliament want a debate about the possible takeover and break up of Dutch bank ABN Amro by a foreign banking consortium, media here reported Thursday.

23 August 2007

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A majority of parties in the Dutch parliament want a debate about the possible takeover and break up of Dutch bank ABN Amro by a foreign banking consortium, media here reported Thursday.

The debate has been called by two left-wing opposition parties the Socialist Party and Green Left, but has the support of the coalition Labour party and the far-right Freedom party as well, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

The far-left Socialist Party wants Labour Finance Minister Wouter Bos to block the RBS led bid.

"The takeover by the consortium is irresponsible because of the high risks and the insecurity it would cause in the financial sector," SP lawmaker Ewout Irrgang told Het Financieele Dagblad.

The parliament is hoping to call Bos as soon as summer recess is over on 3 September, but no date has been set, according to the ANP news agency.

Bos has to issue a so-called declaration of no-objection for any takeover attempt on ABN Amro.

He has done so for British bank Barclays, which is competing with the consortium to buy ABN Amro.

Bos still has to make decision on the bid by the consortium, which is composed of three mainly foreign banks, Belgian-Dutch group Fortis, Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain's Banco Santander.

The decision is expected to come mid-September.

Dutch law requires that the government issue a declaration of no-objection for acquisitions of Dutch banks.

Although Bos does not formally need the parliament's approval to give the green light for the consortium bid, the opposition parties are hoping to put political pressure on him.

Earlier this week, two regional politicians representing the provinces of North Holland (which includes Amsterdam) and its neighbour Flevoland wrote a letter urging Bos to block the consortium's bid.

They want ABN Amro to be taken over by Barclays which has vowed to maintain Amsterdam as the seat of the bank.

The consortium has vowed to break up ABN Amro and Dutch politicians fear the loss of its Amsterdam headquarters could have "far-reaching and destabilising consequences."

The consortium has offered EUR 71.1 billion, while Barclays has offered EUR 67.5 billion.

Either takeover would represent the biggest ever merger in the banking sector.

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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