NETHERLANDS – KAS Bank, the Dutch securities services bank, said 2004 had been a “good year”, reporting a “considerable” number of new clients – and that it has transformed itself into a “European” player.

The bank said its new clients mainly came from other European countries.

“2004 demonstrated the success of our European strategy, witnessing the transformation of the bank from a ‘Dutch’ provider to a ‘European’ provider of highly developed specialist securities services,” it said in a statement.

At the moment, more than 50% of KAS Bank’s bank and broker client base is foreign-based, while over 50% of the assets administered are located outside of the Netherlands.

Almost half of all settled transactions now take place outside its domestic Dutch market.

During his New Year’s speech, managing board chairman Sandor von Balluseck commented on Deutsche Borse’s recent bid for LSE: “We follow the bids for the London Stock Exchange with great interest.

“To the LSE, we are not only an important clearing member, but also a stockholder. KAS Bank presently owns approximately 900,000 LSE shares, which were previously acquired at a significantly lower price.

“We expect a bid to be made this year. This will have a strong positive effect on the bank’s results and will exceed the increase in the pension costs under IFRS.”

Von Balluseck added: “Even excluding any LSE result, we can expect a healthy increase in fee turnover.”