Barclays Bank to announce plans for ABN Amro talks

| March 19, 2007 | 0 Comments

Barclays Bank to announce plans for ABN Amro talks

After declining to comment Sunday on reports that it is getting ready to bid on Dutch bank ABN Amro (Euronext: AAB; NYSE: ABN), Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC; NYSE: BCS; TYO: 8642) said on Monday that it will make an announcement regarding its plans early in the day on Tuesday. ABN has yet to comment on the reports.

Barclays is said to be interested in acquiring ABN’s overseas operations, especially those in Asia, while ABN has seen job cuts in an effort to control costs as it has expanded globally. Some see the possible bid as an attempt to relieve ABN’s problems, which have led to recent criticism for its poor performance and to a sale in January of its mortgage division to Citigroup (NYSE: C).

The discussions between Barclays and ABN are said to be in preliminary stages, and most analysts do not expect any kind of announcement of a deal to come quickly, if it comes at all. The two banks are said to have first held talks as long ago as two years ago. Barclays is not the only bank said to be interested in ABN. Both Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS; NYSE: RBS PRM) and Capitalia (ISE: BRM) of Italy have been named as possible suitors for some or all of ABN’s holdings.

If a merger were to occur between Barclays and ABN, it would create a bank worth £80 billion (€116 billion; $155 billion), with a global staff of 220,000 and 47 million customers. It would also be the largest deal ever between UK and European banks in which the UK bank has been the merger partner in charge.

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