Dutch financials hit by US banking crisis

Financial services group Fortis was almost 20% down on the Amsterdam stock exchange by Tuesday afternoon while Aegon and ING also booked heavy losses as a result of the US banking crisis.

Aegon reported on Tuesday that it had a €265m exposure to Lehman Brothers, pointing out that it had reduced its interest in the struggling bank by 20% this year.
Fortis said its direct exposure amounted to €137m.
Mortgage provider ELQ Hypotheken, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, said on Monday it would not issue any new mortgages. ELQ has been active in the Netherlands since 2004 and focuses on people in a weak financial position.
‘Given the continued poor situation on the capital markets and as a result of the critical position of our parent company, Elq Mortgages has decided that as of now no new mortgages will be sold,’ CNN quoted an internal email as saying.
Speaking at the weekend, finance minister Wouter Bos told Dow Jones news service that he was not at all worried about any Dutch banks getting into trouble because of their exposure to Lehman.

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