Fortis loses EUR22bn for 2008; Cancels dividends

BRUSSELS - Benelux bank Fortis has announced its shareholders will receive no dividends for 2008 due to a net loss of EUR22.5 billion for the year, mainly from its Fortis Bank operations. The announcement came in a statement on March 15, which added that the firm remains solvent.

The bank was the recipient of a joint Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg emergency rescue last year, which resulted in an attempt by French bank BNP Paribas, which has since been stalled, to buy out most of the group's nationalised Belgian banking and insurance assets.

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