ABN Amro IPO possible this year: Prime Min. Rutte
The ABN Amro spin-off unto the public market might happen this year after all as the government continues working to list the bank back on the stock market, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in his weekly press conference after the Cabinet meeting. He says he still has confidence in the leadership of ABN Amro even after the "climate of unrest" from postponing the IPO decision after recent turmoil surrounding the approval of pay raises of the ABN Amro executive board. An exchange of letters with ABN Amro CEO Gerrit Zalm claims that Minister Dijsselbloem approved the executive board salary increase early last year. The controversial pay hike scheme created public resistance, put the IPO on hold and made the bank drop the payment plan for the time being. Dijsselbloem stated Thursday after the meeting that the Cabinet should have, or at least could have known about the pay increase, since he already reported about the issue several times in 2012. He admits that he himself should have brought the plan into daylight more clearly in a Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, debate last October. NOS released the confidential letters earlier this week and after Het Financieele Dagblad released confidential material as well, it made members of parliament more curious about the integrity issues within the bank.