* Down over 10 pct at one point
* Shareholders back name change to ageas
* Signals clean break with troubled past
BRUSSELS, April 28 Fear of exposure to Greek
debt pushed down stock in Fortis FOR.BR as much as 10.3
percent on Wednesday as Belgian shareholders backed a name
change the insurance group hopes will mark a break from its
Fortis had some 4.1 billion euros of Greek bonds and 3.1
billion euros of Portugal, whose rating Standard & Poors cut on
It reduced its exposure to some southern European sovereigns
last year, but Deputy CEO Bruno Colmant said Fortis's overall
strategy was to hold bonds until maturity.
"It's buy and hold," he told shareholders, adding that the
company would give more details of its portfolio when it issued
a trading update on May 12.
"We continue to evaluate these bonds ... The solvency of the
company is very robust at this stage," Colmant continued.
Fortis shares dropped 10.3 percent to a nine-month low of
2.15 euros before recovering to stand 6.6 percent lower at 1509
Colmant also said that Fortis was not exposed to the Abacus
synthetic collateralized debt obligation deal that is the focus
of the SEC fraud investigation into Goldman Sachs (GS.N).
Fortis was carved up by the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg
governments in October 2008 after an 11.2 billion euro cash
injection failed to stem the slide of Fortis shares.
The break-up left Fortis as a pure insurance player with a
stake in a portfolio of toxic assets and a queue of legal
Shareholders in Brussels approved changing the group's name
to ageas, assuming investors in the Netherlands also give their
support on Thursday. An overwhelming 97.14 percent of share
capital represented in Brussels backed the new name.
"Fortis has begun a new future," Chairman Jozef De Mey told
shareholders at the start of a six-hour meeting in Brussels.
It was a year to the day since shareholders in Belgium
finally approved the split-up of the group and the sale of its
Belgian banking arm to BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA).
At that time the shareholders meeting descended into chaos
with some investors throwing shoes and coins at the chairman.
Wednesday's meeting was far calmer, although many of the 200
investors present were still smarting at their losses and some
hooted when a motion to raise the payments to board members was
Security was also tight, with airport-style metal detectors
at the entrance.
Shareholders rejected a motion to allow a capital increase
of up to 168 million euros ($223.8 million) in shares to meet
obligations left over by the company's break-up. They did though
back separate authorisation for a potential capital hike of up
to 88.2 million euros to cover coupon payments.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Cowell)