KBC sells private bank to Qataris

KBC sells private bank to Qataris

Published: October 11, 2011

Belgian bank boosts tier-1 capital with $1bn sale to Middle East investor.

A Qatari investment firm is paying €1.05bn (US$1.4bn) to buy the private banking business of Belgian bank KBC.

The deal will see Precision Capital, a Luxembourg-based vehicle set up by an unnamed Qatari investor, take over KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb) in a transaction expected to close during the first quarter of 2012.

KBL epb operates across nine European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. As of July, it had assets under management of €47bn.

The sale will release about €700mn in capital for KBC, resulting in a 0.6 % increase in its tier-1 ratio. KBC will continue to offer private banking services in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe through its KBC-branded businesses.

In a statement, Jan Vanhevel, KBC’s CEO, said: “The least we can say is that the market circumstances of the last few months have been particularly challenging - all the more reason why we are pleased to be able to announce today’s deal […] It is also reassuring to see that a Qatari investor recognises and values the strengths and potential of a European private banking group.”