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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS Aa2/P-1/B+ RATINGS OF ING BANK N.V. AND Aa3/P-1/B RATINGS OF BANQUE BRUXELLES LAMBERT S.A. FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ING'S PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF BBL

11 Nov 1997
MOODY'S CONFIRMS Aa2/P-1/B+ RATINGS OF ING BANK N.V. AND Aa3/P-1/B RATINGS OF BANQUE BRUXELLES LAMBERT S.A. FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ING'S PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF BBL London, 11-11-97 -- Moody's Investors Service today confirmed the Aa2/Prime-1 deposit ratings and the B+ financial strength rating of ING Bank N.V. (ING) and the Aa3/Prime-1 deposit ratings and B financial strength rating of Banque Bruxelles Lambert S.A. (BBL). This confirmation follows the announcement that ING, the third largest Dutch bank, will acquire BBL, Belgium's third largest commercial bank. Moody's noted that the acquisition of BBL is consistent with ING's ongoing efforts to enhance its European franchise, while solving the long standing uncertainty regarding the ownership structure of BBL. The acquisition, which is expected to be consummated during 1998, remains subject to shareholder approval.
The acquisition will be funded by ING Group through the issuance of new and existing shares as well as a small issue of warrants. Following the goodwill write-off at the holding company level, BBL will become a directly-owned subsidiary of ING. The agency noted however, that the size and cost of this transaction to ING is significant, but should not negatively impact financial fundamentals. Moody's said that a continuing key challenge for ING will be its ability to control its rapidly expanding range of banking businesses.
The proposed transaction would create one of Europe's largest banks, and provide revenue and some cost benefits. Revenue benefits should be attained through greater commercial effectiveness and synergies in corporate and investment banking, and through the concept of an integrated financial services provider. Equally, cost efficiencies could arise through the integration of foreign branch offices, co-operation of treasury operations, as well as a joint effort in European payments transfer. Moody's said that it would closely monitor the extent to which these benefits are successfully delivered, and the role that BBL will assume within the ING Group.
The following ratings are confirmed:
ING Bank NV - Aa2/Prime-1 bank deposit ratings; B+ bank financial strength rating; Prime-1 commercial paper rating; Aa2 senior debt; Aa3 subordinated debt; A1 tier-3 subordinated debt.
Banque Bruxelles Lambert S.A. - Aa3/Prime-1 bank deposit ratings; B bank financial strength rating; Prime-1 commercial paper rating.
BBL North America Inc. - Prime-1 commercial paper rating.
BBL International Finance S.A. - A1 subordinated debt.
ING Bank NV , headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, had total assets of NLG 311 billion (US$ 179 billion) at year-end 1996.
Banque Bruxelles Lambert S.A., headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, had total assets of BEF 3,849 billion (US$ 121 billion) at year-end 1996.

No Related Data.
© 2021 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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