BNP Paribas Fortis ends Belgian state guarantees

BRUSSELS Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:45am EST

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BRUSSELS Dec 19 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas Fortis, the Belgian arm of France's BNP Paribas, has agreed with the Belgian government to end state guarantees covering losses of up to 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) from an investment portfolio.

The initial size of the portfolio was 21.5 billion euros, but it has now been reduced to a level that makes the guarantees unnecessary, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday.

BNP Paribas Fortis has paid a total of 48.8 million euros to Belgium since the guarantees were put in place in May 2009.

BNP Paribas Fortis is 75 percent owned by BNP Paribas and 25 percent owned by the Belgian state, and was the Belgian banking arm of Fortis SA/NV before it was broken up in 2008.

What remains of Fortis lives on as Belgium-based insurer Ageas.

($1 = 0.7568 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Potter)

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