KBC to pay back 2 billion euros in state aid - report

BRUSSELS Thu Dec 6, 2012 1:47am EST

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BRUSSELS Dec 6 (Reuters) - Belgian financial group KBC wants to pay back 2.07 billion euros ($2.71 billion) of the state aid it received at the height of the credit crisis, Belgian business daily De Tijd reported on Thursday.

KBC, which previously said that it would pay back a significant amount of state aid this year, will repay 1.8 billion euros of principal plus a penalty of 15 percent, the newspaper said citing sources.

The group, which took 7 billion euros from Belgium and the region of Flanders during the 2008-09 financial crisis, needs to repay 4.67 billion euros of principal, plus penalties, by the end of 2013.

A spokeswoman for KBC said the group was committed to repaying part of the state aid in 2012 but said that the amount would depend on guidance from the regulator about new capital adequacy rules.

Stricter rules on banks' capital reserves, known as Basel III, are being introduced in Europe, but these are unlikely to be finalised by ministers, delaying the new regime beyond a planned start on Jan. 1 next year. ($1 = 0.7652 euros) (Reporting By Robert-Jan Bartunek. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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