Tuesday, May 08, 2007

ABN AMRO finds RBS bid insufficient, consumers worried and Finance Minister demands clarity on RBS bid

The sequel on ABN AMRO continues of course with the following steps:
- first of all ABN AMRO explaining that they find the bid of the RBS consotrium not superior to the Bank of America bid, amongst others because of a lack of financial guarantee; this is accompanied by a strong (unbacked) statement on this issue by ABN AMRO official Boumeester in FD,
- the RBS consortium replying with a statement they do find their bid superior, and outlining towards another newspaper (Telegraaf) that ABN AMRO has earlier last week received confirmation of Meryll Lynch that they do guarantee the bid,
- the Consumer Union writing a letter to the central bank: explaining that they get a lot of calls/mails of consumers asking if their money is still safe,
- one Labour Union taking position against the RBS bid and in favour of Barclays,
- the Minster of Finance explaining that he wishes quick clarity of the RBS bid
- shareholders getting rid of ABN AMRO, leading to a price more near to the Barclays than the RBS bid.

So this looks as if all signs point to the Barclays-deal. The interesting things among all this news are:
- Groenink is out of the picture: Boumeester is the man in charge now; I take it that Groenink will effectively resign once the Barclays takeover is done,
- the ABN AMRO top management and supervisors are still groupthinking towards Barclays; the claim that they do their best for the shareholders is bound to be formal lipservice,
- there are very few parties involved which essentially sit back and say; Hey dude, this is what markets do. Only the Minister of Finance dares to say so and explains that it was ABN AMRO in the first place that put itself on sale.