The Great Debate UK
Belgians may like a tasty cheval-burger with their frites, but they ought to desist from flogging a dead one. The European Commission has thrown out an attempt to have the sale of Fortis Bank in Belgium to BNP Paribas cancelled, but the rebels are now threatening to take their case to the European Court of Justice.
Rebel Fortis shareholders may have secured useful concessions from the Belgian government in its dismemberment of Fortis, but there is little to be gained from this latest legal foray.
The shareholders haven’t much of a moral case. Fortis was bust last autumn, and would not have survived without the backing of the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg governments.
Revolting shareholders were reduced to throwing shoes and coins at the chairman at Tuesday’s meeting to approve the carve-up of the failed Benelux bancassurer, but to no avail.
As expected, the Bank of England left the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.5 percent at the April meeting, the first unchanged decision since September 2008.
The accompanying statement was short and sweet. The Bank has accumulated 26 billion pounds of asset purchases and will take a further two months to complete the planned 75 billion pounds of purchases – see you next month!