Europe warns Holland on ABN Amro bids

The European Commission has warned the Netherlands to have an open mind on all bids for ABN Amro, currently at the centre of a takeover struggle, ANP reported on Thursday.

The Dutch authorities must operate in a ‘non-discriminatory’ manner when it came to more than one bid for the bank, a spokesman for internal markets commissioner Charlie McCreevy said. It would be disappointing if the Netherlands made a move towards protectionism, the spokesman said.
The commission was reacting to concerns expressed by the Dutch central bank (DNB) over a possible bid from a consortium of banks. Such a bid by Fortis, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander would ‘constitute a strong risk-increasing and complicating factor’ DNB said.
ABN Amro is in exclusive talks with Barclays until Friday, but says it will talk to the consortium to find out more next week.

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