July 24, 2018 / 10:51 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Belgium plans to float 30 pct of Belfius bank

(Adds details, minister comments)

BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) - Belgium will float 30 percent of state-owned bank Belfius but has not taken a final decision on the timing, Belgium’s finance minister said on Tuesday.

The sale, which analysts expect to raise some 2 billion euros ($2.33 billion) for the Belgian government and will help to reduce the country’s debts.

“The earlier indication by the government to privatise up to 49 percent has now been set at 30 percent,” Johan Van Overtveldt told a news conference in Brussels.

“The final decision about the timing of this privatisation will be made by the government at an appropriate time,” he said, adding the earliest possible date was the second half of October.

Belfius was created after the country bought the Belgian banking arm of Dexia in 2011 for 4 billion euros as part of a wider rescue of the Franco-Belgian bank, which was almost entirely nationalised in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Van Overtveldt said the government had not yet taken a decision on which banks would advise the government on the deal.

“There are many candidates,” he said.

$1 = 0.8569 euros Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek. Editing by Jane Merriman

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