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Future of Fortis bank uncertain

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Future of Fortis bank uncertain


Belgium’s government is to appeal a court decision to freeze a buy out by BNP Paribas of the stricken Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis.

Hit by the global financial crisis, Fortis was dismantled in October, with its Dutch assets nationalised by the Netherlands while its Belgian and Luxembourg activities were sold to the France based bank.

But on Friday a court put a stop to Fortis transactions in Belgium until it could be approved by shareholders.

The French bank is set to buy a 75% stake in Fortis – a move which some see as the only way to save it.

But when the original deal was announced, Fortis investors saw the value of their shares tumble, causing alarm and the subsequent legal action to stop the move.

Belgium’s government says it will lodge its appeal by Monday evening.

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