AMSTERDAM, Jan 23 (Reuters) - A nationalisation of Dutch bank and insurance group SNS Reaal is a “serious option”, which may cost the Dutch government several billions of euros, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.
Measures may be taken within the next few days to rescue SNS Reaal, the Netherlands fourth-largest bank which is suffering from property losses, the paper said, citing unnamed political and financial sources.
An SNS Reaal spokesman said: “I cannot give more comment than what we have given so far - we are looking at several scenarios with several stakeholders, and no decision has been taken yet.”
The Dutch Finance Ministry declined to comment.
Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who was appointed as Eurogroup chairman on Monday, and the Dutch central bank may use a new, so-called “intervention law” to expropriate the bank or parts of it, the paper said, without citing sources.
A takeover by a private party was still an option although time was running short, the paper said, without citing sources.
SNS Reaal’s banking operations would remain in state hands for the time being if there were a nationalisation, while its insurance operations could be sold now or in the future, the paper said, without citing sources.
SNS Reaal, which received 750 million euros ($997 million) of state aid in 2008 during the height of the financial crisis, is widely expected to require a second state bailout because of problems at its property unit and is due to come up with a restructuring plan next month when it reports its earnings.
SNS Reaal’s property finance exposure, including commercial real estate loans to small and medium-sized companies, stood at 9.8 billion euros at the end of September, of which 2.3 billion euros were non-performing loans. It has booked more than 1.3 billion euros of net losses on its property loans since 2009. ($1 = 0.7526 euros) (Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)