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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 6 June 2012

State aid: Commission temporarily approves increase of refinancing guarantee for Dexia SA and DCL and extends investigation

The European Commission has approved a €10 billion increase of the ceiling of a temporary guarantee granted by Belgium, France and Luxembourg to cover the refinancing needs of Dexia SA and DCL. The ceiling is thus raised to a maximal amount of € 55 billion. The Commission has temporarily approved the measure until 30 September 2012 in order to preserve financial stability and will take a final decision on its compatibility with EU state aid rules when it has finalised its assessment of Dexia's resolution plan.

Belgium, France and Luxembourg have granted temporary guarantees to cover Dexia's refinancing measures with a maturity of a maximum of three years, for a maximum nominal value of €45 billion, now extended to €55 billion, jointly and non-severally, by Belgium (60.5%), France (36.5%) and Luxembourg (3%). The purpose of the guarantee and of its current increase is to enable the bank to finalise its orderly resolution plan and to preserve the financial stability of the Member States concerned, given the systemic importance of Dexia SA. On 31 May 2012, the Commission extended the temporarily approval of the guarantee until 30 September 2012 (see IP/12/523).

However, at this stage, the Commission has doubts that the measure is compatible with EU rules on state support for banks during the crisis (see in particular IP/11/1488), in particular because this new state support comes in addition to massive aid already granted in the context of Dexia's restructuring plan (see IP/10/201) and potential further aid in the context of Dexia's resolution plan (see IP/12/523). The Commission will take a final decision on the temporary guarantee as part of its final assessment of the orderly resolution plan of Dexia.

Background

As of 2008, the Dexia group has benefited from significant state support from France, Belgium and Luxembourg, approved by the Commission in return for a restructuring plan to be concluded by the end of 2014 (see IP/10/201).

That initial restructuring plan enabled Dexia SA to enhance the stability of its financing sources and reduce its leverage and its portfolio of non-strategic assets. However, the bank fell behind with the implementation of that plan and the imbalance in its financing sources has worsened again since last summer.

Since then, the Member States concerned notified additional aid to Dexia group, via the sale of DBB to the Belgian State (see IP/11/1203) , the sale of Dexia BIL (see IP/12/346), additional State guarantees on new refinancing of Dexia SA and its subsidiary Dexia Crédit Local (DCL) (see IP/11/1592) and the prolongation thereof (see IP/12/523).

In December 2011, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation on a new set of restructuring measures for Dexia, of which the temporary guarantee is part and required that the Member States concerned submit a restructuring or liquidation plan within three months. In March 2012, the Member States notified a resolution plan, which the Commission has included in its ongoing investigation of state measures in favour of the Dexia group (see IP/12/523).

On 31 May 2012, the Commission temporarily approved until 30 September 2012 the prolongation of a guarantee of the three Member States covering new refinancing of Dexia SA and DCL (see IP/12/523).

The non-confidential version of the current decision on the increase of the ceiling of the temporary guarantee will be made available under the case numbers SA.37925, SA.24927 and, SA.34928 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

Contacts :

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Maria Madrid Pina (+32 2 295 45 30)


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