French want to take over ABN Amro, price shoots up | Economy

The French bank BNP Paribas is interested in a takeover of ABN Amro. The bank has already spoken with the state, which is the majority shareholder in ABN Amro.

That reports the usually well-informed news agency Bloomberg. ABN Amro does not want to comment on what they call ‘rumors in the market’. BNP Paribas also refrained from commenting. The French interest was well received at the fair. The ABN Amro share price shot up.

The state is still the majority shareholder of ABN Amro. Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag previously indicated that the cabinet does not intend to keep the interest in the bank. But there are no concrete plans to sell shares. In a statement, the ministry said it could not speak publicly about a possible sale of shares.

bite-sized chunk

The interest in ABN Amro is not surprising. The bank has gone through a turbulent period and has lost about 60 percent of its stock market value in recent years. That makes the bank a bite-sized chunk for a larger party. ABN Amro previously indicated that it itself is looking at possibilities to take over other parties.

A takeover of ABN Amro could be the start of a long-awaited consolidation process in the European banking system. The international banking world is dominated by major US banks. In order to make a difference, the small European banks have to merge into larger institutions.

It would not be the first time that ABN Amro is taken over. In 2008, the bank was the prey of a banking consortium of Royal Bank of Scotland, Spain’s Santander and Fortis Bank. That trio divided the bank among themselves. Just after that takeover, the credit crisis broke out and ABN Amro-Fortis, including the Dutch activities, had to be rescued by the state.


That bill of 21 billion euros was only partly paid during the IPO in 2015. In order to fully cover the costs, the state must now receive 26 euros per share for the remaining 56 percent interest in the bank. The exchange rate of ABN Amro is currently slightly above a tenner.

In 2016 there was already interest in ABN Amro. Then the Danish Nordea Bank came forward. That interest came to nothing. Whether it is more serious this time remains unclear. Various sources report that there has been one conversation between BNP Paribas and the ministry and that there are no follow-up agreements.

New course

ABN Amro has undergone a change of course in recent years. Under the motto ‘banking for better’ the bank focuses on sustainability. In recent years, the bank has said goodbye to risky activities such as trade finance. A large part of the investment bank was also sold. The bank sees growth in asset management for wealthy individuals and in banking in the Netherlands.

BNP Paribas would immediately gain a strong position in the Dutch market with an acquisition. That would be a third home market after France and Belgium.

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French want to take over ABN Amro, price shoots up | Economy
Source link French want to take over ABN Amro, price shoots up | Economy

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