September 10, 2018 / 2:35 PM / 9 days ago

Belgium postpones flotation of Belfius Bank

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Monday that the time was not right to partially privatise Belgian bank Belfius and that it would not now take place during his term in office until mid-2019, according to Belga news agency.

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel attends a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte at Bourglinster castle in Luxembourg September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The Belgian government has been looking into floating 30 percent of Belfius, which was created after the state bought the Belgian banking arm of Franco-Belgian lender Dexia in 2011 for 4 billion euros (3.53 billion pounds).

The finance ministry said in July, when announcing its plans, that the timing of the initial public offering (IPO) had not been taken.

Analysts had expected the sale to raise some 2 billion euros, helping to cut Belgium’s national debt, although market turbulence has since cut the estimated value of the bank.

Dexia (DEXI.BR) was almost entirely nationalised in the aftermath of the financial crisis and Belgium is still guaranteeing part of its borrowings.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

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