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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
Profits rise at merger target ABN
ABN Amro bank
Barclays' exclusivity period ends on Wednesday
ABN Amro has reported a 31% rise in profits for the first three months of the year.

The bank, which is in merger talks with Barclays, released its results 10 days early "in light of recent developments and in order to be fully transparent".

Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander and Fortis Bank revealed on Friday that they are considering a joint offer that would involve breaking up ABN Amro.

ABN's net income was 1.31bn euros ($1.78bn; 893m) in the first quarter.

Crunch day coming

Barclays' 30 day period of exclusivity is due to end on Wednesday.

Speculation has risen that Friday's news from the three banks considering an offer, together with the strong results, will boost ABN's share price to such an extent that Barclays expected offer of up to 35 euros a share will look uncompetitive.

RBS, Santander and Fortis are understood to be able to offer as much as 40 euros a share because they are planning to break up the Dutch bank.

ABN Amro may face legal action from some of its shareholders if it does not agree to give the other potential bidders the same access to its books that it has given Barclays.

ABN originally started talks with Barclays after it came under pressure to break up its business. The Dutch regulator said last week he would not object in principle to a break-up.


SEE ALSO
ABN bid battle 'could go hostile'
15 Apr 07 |  Business
ABN Amro break-up 'not a problem'
09 Apr 07 |  Business
ABN Amro questions break-up plan
28 Mar 07 |  Business
Barclays man earns a record 22m
26 Mar 07 |  Business
Barclays in exclusive ABN talks
20 Mar 07 |  Business
Barclays 'eyeing tie-up with ABN'
19 Mar 07 |  Business

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