BNP Paribas buys €3.25bn stake

BNP Paribas has agreed to buy the Belgian state’s 25 per cent stake in BNP Paribas Fortis for €3.25bn (£2.7bn) in a move that will help the country keep its commitment to lower public debt. The Belgian state will make a capital gain of about €900m following the closing of the deal and will keep its 10.3 per cent stake in BNP Paribas. It also puts Belgium one step closer to exiting lifelines it threw to multiple banks during the 2008 crisis.