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Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 10 News List

ABN Amro Holding says it will meet earnings target


ABN Amro Holding NV, the Dutch bank at the center of a massive takeover battle, said yesterday it has so far not suffered much from turmoil on credit markets, and it expects to meet its earnings target for this year.

The market update is intended to inform shareholders before they meet on Thursday to discuss rival takeover bids from Barclays PLC and a consortium of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC.

Either takeover, if successful, would be the largest in the history of the financial industry.

In a statement, ABN said it expected to have earnings of 2.30 euros (US$3.19) per share for the full year, "notwithstanding the impact of the current turmoil in financial markets on our ... results and continued disappointing performance of Antonveneta," ABN's Italian arm.

The bank said its forecast for bad loans had not increased and repeated it "has a very limited exposure to the subprime segment."

The fight for ABN has entered its final stages, with the offers expiring on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.

On Sunday, ABN's boards said they could not endorse either, though at Friday's closing prices, RBS's 70.2 billion euros offer, or 37.91 euros (US$52.58) per ABN share -- was worth 19 percent more than Barclays'.

The boards said they "acknowledge that the consortium offer ... is clearly superior for ABN Amro shareholders from a financial point of view."

Chief executive Rijkman Groenink said the boards "could not be expected, as representatives of the company, to recommend the breakup of the bank."

ABN shares closed at 35 euros on Friday.

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