ABN Amro gets ready for privatisation, if the timing is right

Nationalised Dutch bank ABN Amro will be ready to be privatised again by next summer, chief executive Gerrit Zalm says in an interview with the Financial Times.

Zalm said he wanted to be ready for the state to begin selling its 100% stake in the bank in a year’s time.

ABN Amro was nationalised in a €30bn deal following its abortive takeover by a combination of Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis and Santander.

In the interview Zalm says: ‘We are getting ready [for privatisation] but it all depends on the timing. What will the market look like?’ The timing may not be optimal because of the two years of recession in the Netherlands, the former finance minister says.


In the interview Zalm also criticised current finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s plans to curb banking bonuses. This, he said, would undermine Dutch banks in their global operations.

Dijsselbloem plans to restrict bonuses to 20% of salary, which goes much further than the EU proposed limits of 100% of salary for those earning more than €500,000.

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