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    Dutch insurer Aegon gets 3 bln euros cash injection

    28.10.2008 - 14:32 | Son Güncelleme:

    The Dutch state gave a 3 billion euros ($3.75 billion) cash boost to insurer Aegon on Tuesday in the latest bid to shield a financial institution from the world financial crisis.

    "With this capital injection, Aegon remains a healthy and well-run insurance group with a robust capital buffer which makes it among the strongest insurers in the world," the finance ministry said in a statement.

    An agreement to this end was reached between the ministry, Aegon and the Dutch central bank on Tuesday.

    The Dutch government announced earlier this month it would provide 20 billion euros to augment bank capital and liquidity to shield its financial sector against shocks from the global economic crisis.

    Aegon was making use of this facility, said the ministry, for "healthy financial companies that have to deal with unforeseen external shocks."

    The investment would see the state become the owner of Aegon securities, added the statement. The securities were bought at four euros a piece. Aegon shares closed at 3.38 euros on the Amsterdam stock exchange Monday.

    For its money, the state would also nominate two members to the company's supervisory board with a big say in such decisions as takeovers and investments.

    Members of the management board will receive no bonuses for 2008, said the ministry, and severance packages will be limited to one years salary.

    In August, Aegon reported that second-quarter net profit slumped by 58 percent because of setbacks from the U.S. subprime crisis and a slowing of financial activity, notably in the United States.

    And it has said it expected a third quarter net loss of 275 million euros.

    The company suffered exposure to American financial groups that found themselves in trouble -- including a 500 million euro exposure to insurer AIG, 125 million to Washington Mutual and 265 million to Lehman Brothers.

    Aegon counts more than 40 million clients world-wide, mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom and at home in the Netherlands. It employs some 30,000 people.

    Earlier this month, the Dutch government gave ING, one of the worlds biggest banks, a 10 billion euro cash boost -- two weeks after it 16.8 billion euros into the rescue of banking group Fortis.

    The government has also increased its bank deposit guarantee to 100,000 euros from 38,000 euros.

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