The European Commission has approved under EC Treaty State aid rules additional aid measures from the Belgian and Luxembourg States stemming from amendments of the agreement between Fortis Holding, BNP Paribas, Fortis Bank and the Belgian and Luxemburg authorities. The Commission found that the measures in favour of Fortis Bank and Fortis Holding were limited to the minimum necessary to reach their goal and were, as such, compatible with Article 87.3.b of the EC Treaty, that allows aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State. Taking account of the very specific and uncommon circumstances of the case, the Commission concluded that the described measures were the minimum necessary to obtain Fortis holding's shareholders' approval on the transactions of early October 2008 and to allow the sale of Fortis Bank to BNP Paribas to proceed. The Commission found that Fortis Bank would be made viable through its combination with BNP Paribas. The Commission also found that the measures relieving Fortis Bank of certain impaired assets were in line with its communication on the treatment of impaired assets. In particular, the Belgian State will purchase or guarantee the structured credits at a price which is well below their real economic value resulting in a significant part of the losses being supported by Fortis Bank. The new entity committed not to expand through acquisitions in the Belgian and Luxembourg banking market. The Commission’s communication on the treatment of impaired assets is available by clicking here.
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Commission approves additional aid measures from Belgium and Luxemburg for Fortis
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