Indebted Belgium to sell six billion euro stake in France's BNP Paribas
AFPBRUSSELS--Cash-strapped Belgium is seeking to reduce its debt mountain by selling its 10-percent stake in France's biggest bank, BNP Paribas, a press report said Wednesday.
September 19, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
According to business daily L'Echo, the government of Elio Di Rupo wants to cut debt from the current level of about one year's total economic output, with the BNP Paribas stake coming under consideration.
Belgium holds 10.28 percent of BNP Paribas, which in today's market could land the government “about 6 billion euros” (US$8 billion), the newspaper said.
But that is much less than the 70 euros per share the stock was worth before the collapse of U.S. investment house Lehman Brothers set off the global financial crisis in 2008.
Another idea would be for Belgium to unload its 25-percent stake in BNP Paribas-Fortis, the Belgian unit of the French bank, which could raise about 2 billion euros, L'Echo said.