AMSTERDAM, July 13 (Reuters) - Dutch bank and insurance group SNS Reaal is considering selling its pension operation Zwitserleven and its insurance unit Reaal, and has asked Goldman Sachs to study such scenarios, a Dutch paper reported on Friday.
The euro zone debt crisis and problems in the Dutch property market have forced SNS Reaal to take more rigorous steps, Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad said, citing unnamed sources.
SNS Reaal, which needed 750 million euros of Dutch state aid in 2008 and has struggled to turn around its loss-making property division, was not immediately available to comment.
The Netherlands’ fourth largest bank was investigating different options, in consultation with the Dutch state, and the sale of operations was among the possibilities, SNS Reaal was quoted as saying in the paper.
The Dutch finance ministry has hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the options for the bank, in anticipation of the expectation that SNS Reaal will not be able to fully repay the state aid before the end of 2013, the paper said, citing sources.
The ministry, which was not immediately available to comment, declined to comment on SNS Reaal, the paper said.
Dutch insurers Delta Lloyd, Aegon, and privately-owned Achmea, as well as German insurer Allianz are expected to be interested in some of SNS Reaal operations, including its pension activities, the paper said. (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by David Cowell)