BRUSSELS, June 28 (Reuters) - Measures taken by Fortis FOR.BR FOR.AS to shore up its finances should be sufficient, the Dutch-Belgian bank’s supervisory board chairman told Belgian financial daily L’Echo on Saturday.
Chairman Maurice Lippens, asked if there was a chance that further capital-raising measures will be announced, replied: “Normally, it’s sufficient. Of course, if this is a return to 1929, then we are in a different ball game.”
Fortis raised 1.5 billion euros ($2.36 billion) from a heavily discounted share issue this week, part of a package of measures to shore up its finances by more than 8 billion euros.
Lippens said Fortis has been the victim of speculators and wondered how much money certain — unnamed — hedge funds made.
“Besides, Thursday’s step was completely successful,” Lippens said.
He also backed Fortis Chief Executive Jean-Paul Votron.
“You don’t kill the captain in a storm,” Lippens said.
The drop in Fortis’ share price — down more than 40 percent so far this year — has not made the company a takeover target as other banks also have their problems, he added.
“Things should be quiet for a year and a half or two years,” Lippens said.
He said he did not know if the Libyan Investment Authority had taken a stake in the company during Thursday’s capital raising exercise.
Separately, Jean-Paul Servais, president of Belgium’s markets, insurance and banking supervisor CBFA, told L’Echo that Fortis has no solvency or liquidity problems.
Servais said Fortis’ announcement of its package of measures had been made in a timely way.
“Based on the information we have at hand, there is no problem of liquidity at Fortis, nor of solvency,” Servais said.
Savers should not flee Fortis, he added. ($1=.6353 Euro) (Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Lincoln Feast)