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Business

Fortis shareholders say 'no' to Dutch and Belgian rescue plan

Video by Eve IRVINE

Latest update : 2009-02-12

Fortis shareholders have voted against a rescue plan that was to dismantle the troubled bank by allowing the Netherlands to nationalise the group's Dutch assets and Belgium to nationalise its Belgian affiliate, Fortis Bank.

AFP - Fortis shareholders on Wednesday rejected a Dutch and Belgian salvage plan which would nationalise parts of the ailing bank and sell other assets off to French bank BNP Paribas.
  
In two swift "no" votes at a general meeting in Brussels, the shareholders rejected the decision by the Netherlands to nationalise the group's Dutch assets and for Belgium to nationalise the Belgian affiliate Fortis Bank
  
The "yes" camp almost won a third vote, with 49.74 percent supporting the Belgian state's subsequent decision to sell on 75 percent of its Fortis assets to BNP.
  
The three votes were greeted by loud applause in the meeting hall where only  42.99 percent of shareholders were present or represented.
  
The three transactions, agreed last October without shareholder input, came at the height of the financial crisis.
  
The deals effectively dismantled Fortis and left shareholders holding an interest in the rapidly plummeting shares in the rump of what had been considered among the bluest of Belgian blue chips.
  
However in December a Brussels court suspended the sale of the Belgian assets of banking and insurance group Fortis to BNP Paribas, saying the shareholders should have been consulted.
  
In total just 20.32 percent of the company's capital was represented at the shareholders' meeting of one of the biggest finance house in the Benelux region.

Date created : 2009-02-11

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