NETHERLANDS - The €218bn giant Dutch pension fund ABP has confirmed it is now the largest shareholder of Fortis after Chinese insurer Ping An.

ABP's interest in the Belgian-French financial service provider - which was part of the banking-trio which bought Dutch bank ABN Amro last year - is now around 3.5%.

Fortis raised fresh equity of around €1.5bn last Thursday to accelerate its recapitalisation plan and as part of a number of measures to enhance its solvency.

A spokesman for ABP told IPE through a written statement this morning: "ABP was one of the parties that took part in the right issue," adding the fund bought around a third of the issuance.

The spokesman continued: "For a long-term investor such as ABP, it was an opportunity to buy Fortis shares at such an attractive pricing level."

Ping An announced in March it intended to acquire a 50% equity stake in Fortis Investments for a consideration of €2.15bn, shortly after Fortis Investments had annexed ABN Amro Asset Management.

Fortis said at the time it had been in exclusive talks with Ping An over the deal to bolster its financial strength.

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