All of Fortis activities in Netherlands nationalised

October 4th, 2008 - 1:36 am ICT by IANS  

Amsterdam, Oct 3 (DPA) The governments of Belgium and Luxembourg have transferred all of their shares in the Dutch division of bank and insurance giant Fortis to the Netherlands, including the Dutch ABN Amro banking division.The Dutch government now owns 100 percent of the Dutch activities of Fortis, for which it paid some 16.8 billion euros ($23.27 billion).

On Sunday, the governments of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands nationalized 49 percent of Fortis.

The Dutch government then took over 49 percent of all Fortis activities in the Netherlands, paying some 4 billion euros.

The new deal involves a takeover of all Fortis activities in the Netherlands.

Also, Sunday’s planned sale of Dutch ABN Amro bank, taken over by Fortis but still operating autonomously within Fortis NV until late 2009, has now been cancelled.

Speaking at a press conference Friday, Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende said the new deal, involving a full nationalisation of all Fortis’ activities in the Netherlands, was “necessary in order to create stability on the financial markets”.

Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos said the measure was “necessary” because the bank appeared to be still on the brink of collapse in recent days.

While stability returned to the stock market, several major business clients in Belgium left the bank, Bos said.

He added that the full nationalisation of all Fortis activities in the Netherland was a “temporary” measure, and that Fortis would return to private ownership once stability had returned to the markets.

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said the new deal was made “in close cooperation with the watchdogs on the financial markets, and in particular taking into account the evolution of the liquidity in the bank systems of the countries involved”.

Fortis had been in dire need of extra funding due to its participation in the takeover of Dutch ABN Amro bank in 2007, for which it paid some 24 billion euros.

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