According to press reports, the first French bank has approached the Dutch government with a view to a potential takeover of the bank. On the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the ABN Amro share rose by 5%.
BNP Paribas, France’s leading bank, is reportedly interested in ABN Amro, one of the three major banks in the Netherlands, 56% owned by the Dutch state. The financial news agency Bloomberg, which quotes unidentified sources, specifies that the first French bank has recently contacted the Dutch government but that the latter is not seriously considering its proposal for the moment. ABN Amro has been controlled by the Dutch state since its bailout during the financial crisis.
This information caused the markets to react on Friday, which were carried away by the Dutch bank. T he title of the Dutch bank took up 18.4% in session, causing a brief suspension of the title on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. He still gained 10.18 % around 3:15 p.m., while in Paris, B NP Paribas took 1.24 % at the same time.
But in the immediate future , the Dutch government will not follow up, according to Reuters. BNP would not be engaged in a “ process ” of acquisition of its Dutch rival and such an operation would not correspond to its strategy, according to the press agency. In a statement, the Dutch Ministry of Finance says it has sought advice from NLFI, the agency that owns the government holdings, on ” the sale of other ABN Amro securities ” without, however, commenting on the information disclosed by Bloomberg.
Bank saved in 2008
Since its bailout in 2008 by the Dutch state, ABN Amro has refocused its activities on its domestic market, eliminating thousands of jobs in the process. At the end of 2021, the bank only employed 20,000 full-time employees. Partially privatized in 2015, the bank is still majority-owned by the State, which makes no secret of its desire to gradually withdraw from it. It has not, however, put an ABN Amro share on the market since September 2017. Amro had announced in 2020 that it would end all its commodity finance activities after posting a loss of millions of dollars. euros.
What do you think of this takeover rumour? According to a financial analyst interviewed by Cercle Finance, the fact that the Dutch State would not wish to cede control of the banking group, preferring instead the scenario of targeted securities sales, such a scheme is not likely to interest BNP. Paribas, which would prefer to acquire all of the shares as part of a takeover bid. This broker considers that it would be surprising for the French giant to embark on such a large-scale operation, even if the sale of its American subsidiary Bank of the West could give it the means.
This is not the first time that the ABN Amro bank has been presented as a possible target: in 2016, press reports mentioned a potential interest from the Swedish bank Nordea for the Dutch bank, without any transaction does not materialize.