ABN Amro Shares Rise After Rejecting Nordea Proposal to Buy Bank

ABN Amro Group NV shares advanced 2.1 percent in Amsterdam trading after reports that the Dutch lender rejected an approach from Sweden’s Nordea Bank AB.

The stock jumped to 19.14 euros at 9:04 a.m. in the Dutch capital. Nordea fell 0.6 percent in Stockholm. The Dutch government held talks between June and September to merge state-owned ABN with Nordea, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Nordea Chairman Bjoern Wahlroos is said to have proposed a reverse takeover through a share exchange that would have resulted in a move to the Netherlands by the Nordic region’s biggest lender, enabling it to escape Sweden’s stringent capital requirements, according to the person. ABN Amro, which is based in Amsterdam, returned to the stock market last year seven years after its government bailout, and had a market value of almost $20 billion, making it about half as big as Nordea before the talks were disclosed.

The Dutch government stepped in to rescue ABN Amro in 2008, a year after it was bought by a consortium of three banks in the largest financial-services takeover ever. A Nordea-ABN Amro deal would be the biggest bank merger in Europe since that deal. Under government ownership, ABN Amro became a consumer lender primarily focused on the Netherlands.

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