Financial services group ABN Amro is being removed from the Amsterdam blue chip AEX index and will continue in the midcap index from March 22, stock exchange organisation Euronext has announced.
The bank’s strong performance in the past few months has not been enough to ensure it continues in the AEX, largely because 56% of ABN Amro shares are still in state hands.
The downgrade is more of a ‘symbolic slap’ but does mean a loss in status for its management and supervisory boards, the Financieele Dagblad said.
The downgrade also highlights the way financial stocks have become less important on the AEX, the paper said.
Before the credit crisis, the AEX was dominated by ABN Amro, ING, Fortis and Aegon. But now ING, the biggest bank in the Benelux, only has a weighting of 6%. Payment processor Adyen is the heaviest of the financial shares on the AEX with a weighting of 7% but in fact it counts as a tech company, the FD said.
ABN Amro returned to the stock exchange following its nationalization in November 2015 at €18 per share and rose to just above €28 by May 2018. It is currently trading at around €10.
The bank’s place in the AEX will be taken by technology company BESI. Biotech company Galapagos is also leaving the AEX and will be replaced by Signify, the former Philips lighting unit.
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