BNP Paribas' Largest Investor, Belgium Government, Cuts Holding Ownership

  • A Belgian government-owned investment company, SFPI-FPIM, plans to sell about €2.17 billion worth of shares in BNP Paribas BNPQY BNPQF, cutting its holding from around 7.8% to 5.1%.
  • SFPI said it had successfully placed 33 million shares with investors following an accelerated sale.
  • SFPI said it has been looking to reduce its exposure to the financial services sector but would continue to support the French bank.
  • It has agreed not to sell further shares for 90 days.
  • "Following the transaction, SFPI-FPIM confirms its continued support of BNP Paribas and belief in the company's long-term strategy," the Belgian state participation agency said.
  • Belgium's government-owned agency became a shareholder of BNP Paribas in 2008/2009, following the bailout of Fortis, which the French lender took over as part of a state-backed rescue.
  • Belgian state was BNP Paribas' largest investor, with Amundi and BlackRock Inc BLK, with 7% and 6% holdings, respectively, in the company, Reuters reported.
  • SFPI-FPIM will receive its expected dividend for 2022 of €3.90 per share, subject to approval by BNP Paribas shareholders at their May annual meeting, the terms show, Bloomberg reported.
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