November 28, 2008 / 1:53 PM / 10 years ago

Kaupthing Lux talks to end Dec 5 - Belgian PM

BRUSSELS, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said on Friday that a serious candidate had emerged to buy the Luxembourg arm of troubled Icelandic bank Kaupthing KAUP.IC, with a decision due in a week.

“Next Friday a final decision would be taken as to whether or not the group will take up the offer. Serious negotiations on one offer are underway,” Leterme told a news conference.

He added that three or four other parties were also interested in taking over just Kaupthing’s Belgian customers.

According to a Belgian business daily, online bank Keytrade Bank, a subsidiary of France’s Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), is among the potential suitors for the Belgian customers.

Belgian accounts are held by the Luxembourg arm of Kaupthing and their money was frozen last month by Luxembourg’s financial regulator after the Icelandic parent company was taken over by the Icelandic state.

Leterme, whose government has bailed out two of the country’s biggest banks and provided money for the third, said 5,000 Belgian Kaupthing customers would receive an initial maximum of 20,000 euros ($25,880) from their accounts from Monday. (Reporting by Antonia van de Velde; Editing by Rupert Winchester)

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