THE HAGUE: The Dutch government yesterday told nationalised lender ABN Amro to get itself ready to be sold off within one year, despite doubts it could be sold at a profit.
“We have asked ABN Amro to prepare itself for a return to the market,” Rutte told journalists at his first weekly press briefing since the holiday recess.
“ABN Amro probably needs about a year to prepare itself for a listing (on the stock exchange), to make sure it’s ready, he added.
The Dutch government bought the country’s third largest bank in October 2008 during the height of the banking crisis in a bailout worth ¤16.8bn ($22.4bn).
It has since pumped more cash into the limping giant, pushing the total amount of state aid above ¤30m, according to Dutch media.
The government puts the figure at ¤21.66.
Rutte yesterday stressed, however, no concrete decision had been made about whether to sell ABN Amro through an initial public offering (IPO).
He said the government would review the issue once the bank was prepared.
“No decision has been taken around a sale, it’s simply to early for that,” said Rutte.
Asked whether he thought the Dutch government would get its money back, Rutte said: “We want the best possible price (for ABN Amro), but it is indeed a fact that the chances of making a profit from the sale are slim,” he said.