BNP Paribas buys Belgian govt local unit stake for 3.25 bn euros
The Belgian government said Wednesday it has sold its 25 percent stake in BNP Paribas Fortis to its parent, top French bank BNP Paribas, for 3.25 billion euros.
A joint statement recalled that Belgium acquired the 25 percent stake in 2008-09 at the height of the global financial crisis when Fortis Bank Belgium had to be bailed out under government oversight.
“This transaction marks another step in the recovery of the investments made by the Belgian state in Fortis Bank Belgium,” the statement said.
The government said it expected to make a profit of some 900 million euros on the sale when it is completed.
“The objectives set by the state at the time of its initial investment have clearly been met,” it said.
“The proceeds will help the government manage its debt, it added.