Decision on ABN Amro sale expected Friday: reports

22nd May 2015, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch government is expected to decide Friday on when to sell state-owned bank ABN Amro seven years after it was nationalised during the financial crisis, Dutch media reported.

The sale on the stock market will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Friday, Dutch news agency ANP reported, quoting sources close to the matter.

The government will "in all likelihood decide to float a first part of the bank before the end of the year," ANP said.

ABN Amro, the Netherlands' third-largest bank after ING and Rabobank, is worth around 15 billion euros ($17 billion).

Contacted by AFP, the Dutch finance ministry declined to comment on the cabinet meeting's agenda.

The government could on Friday also decide to implement measures to counter the possibility of a hostile takeover, Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad reported.

The government wants the bank to have "the most solid protection" the paper said, also quoting sources close to the matter.

ABN Amro, which traces its roots back to the 19th century, was taken over in 2007 by a consortium, RFS Holdings, which grouped the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), with Banco Santander of Spain and Belgium-Dutch group Fortis.

After the financial crisis broke, the Dutch state in 2008 took over Fortis' Dutch assets and bought Fortis Netherlands' share in RFS holdings in a bailout worth 16.8 billion euros.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem in March delayed the bank's privatisation, which had been expected in the first quarter of this year, because of public anger over salary hikes for its board of directors.

The directors eventually gave up their pay rises of around 100,000 euros.

© 2015 AFP

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