BNP Paribas approached Dutch finance ministry over ABN buy - source
French lender BNP Paribas signalled to the Dutch government an interest in taking over state-owned bank ABN Amro, a deal that the ministry is not pursuing for now, a person with knowledge of with the matter said on Friday. An earlier report on the approach by Bloomberg News sent ABN Amro shares surging in Amsterdam.
French lender BNP Paribas signaled to the Dutch government interest in taking over state-owned bank ABN Amro, a deal that the ministry is not pursuing now, a person with knowledge of with the matter said on Friday.
An earlier report on the approach by Bloomberg News sent ABN Amro shares surging in Amsterdam. Spokespeople for BNP and ABN declined to comment, while the Dutch finance ministry said in a statement it was seeking advice on selling down its stake. By 1240 GMT, ABN Amro shares were up 11.5% at 11.49 euros ($12.07), down from a peak of 12.16 euros, which prompted a halt in trading.
The Dutch Finance Ministry said in a statement it had sought advice from NLFI, a body that holds assets for the government, "on the further sale of shares in ABN Amro" but would not comment on "specific considerations" of a sale. Since its bailout by the Dutch state in 2008, ABN has refocused its operations and orientation on the Dutch market, cutting thousands of jobs in the process. It had around 20,000 full-time employees at the end of 2021.
ABN Amro was in part re-privatized in 2015. The Dutch state owns 56% of the shares and has said it intends to gradually reduce its holdings. It has not sold shares since September 2017. A spokesperson for ABN Amro said the bank would not comment on "market rumors".
Amro is one of three dominant banks in the Netherlands and last year decided to end all its international trade and commodity financing operations after a string of losses. ($1 = 0.9519 euros)
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