Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 18:20 UK

Netherlands to buy Fortis assets

Fortis bank HQ
The deal includes Fortis' stake in ABN Amro.

The Netherlands will take full control of the Dutch operations of ailing European bank Fortis in a deal worth 16.8bn euros ($23.2bn; 13.1bn).

On Sunday, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg governments injected 11.2bn euros into the bank, which has a heavy presence in all three countries.

The Dutch government transaction on Friday does not affect Fortis' Belgian and Luxembourg operations.

Fortis was the first European bank to fall victim to the credit crisis.

Analysts say the bank's biggest mistake was joining in - along with Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain's Santander - in the 70bn euro purchase of the Dutch bank ABN Amro last year.

The Dutch government will also take Fortis' interest in ABN Amro.

As part of Sunday's action, the three Benelux governments took a 49% stake in Fortis countries in their respective countries.

The Belgian government said on Friday it would retain the 49% stake in Fortis' Belgian operations it took on Sunday.


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