Belgium offers Fortis shareholders 2014 profit coupon
BRUSSELS, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Shareholders in Fortis
(News/Aktienkurs) will receive a part of any profit the Belgian state makes from its investment in BNP Paribas in 2014, the Belgian government said on Sunday.
The government will allocate some of the profit from its stake in the French bank to a fund which will be distributed to shareholders on July 1, 2014, the government said in a statement.
Fortis has over the weekend detached a coupon to offer proof of ownership of Fortis shares, the Belgian government said.
Fortis shareholders will receive profits from the new fund with a limit of 5,000 coupons per person, the statement said.
The Belgian government hopes this decision will allow trading in the troubled Belgium-based financial services group to resume on Monday.
Belgium's financial watchdog CBFA said on Sunday that it was still expecting a statement from Fortis detailing the financial consequences for the group after it was carved up by the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg governments and partly sold to BNP Paribas.
The CBFA hopes to get the statement later on Sunday or on Monday morning, a spokeswoman said.
'That would allow the suspension of Fortis shares to be lifted in the course of Monday or by Tuesday at the latest,' the spokeswoman said.
Shares in Fortis have not traded all week.
BNP Paribas agreed last week to buy Fortis assets in Belgium and Luxembourg for 14.5 billion euros ($19.90 billion) in a share swap with the Belgian and Luxembourg governments.
This followed the Netherlands' move to nationalise the Dutch assets of Fortis for 16.8 billion euros.
Belgium will retain a 25 percent blocking stake in Fortis Bank Belgium and will also get an 11.6 percent interest in BNP Paribas.
The coupon detached from the Fortis shares over the weekend is non negotiable and independent and will not influence the value of the Fortis stock.
The fund will receive any profit the Belgium government makes from its BNP Paribas investment after deduction of the cost of its investment in Fortis plus interest rates, as well as possible losses from its participation in a new Fortis structured credit products portfolio.
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Greg Mahlich) ($1=.7287 euros) Keywords: FORTIS/SHAREHOLDERS FUND