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Joint Press Release of the Belgian Government and BNP Paribas

The Belgian State and BNP Paribas announce that they have reached an agreement for the transfer to BNP Paribas of the 25% shareholding held by the Belgian State in BNP Paribas Fortis for a price of 3.25 billion euros.

This shareholding originated in 2008-2009 transactions in the context of the deteriorated financial condition of Fortis Bank Belgium (now BNP Paribas Fortis), whereby the Belgian State held (through the SFPI) 25% of the shares of Fortis Bank Belgium and the remaining shares were held by BNP Paribas. After the success of the transfer of Royal Park Investment's portfolio of structured credits in May this year, this transaction marks a new phase in the disposal by the Belgian State of its investments in Fortis Bank Belgium.

BNP Paribas Fortis' strategic plan “Bank for the Future” that was announced on March 25, 2013 will continue to be implemented and the governance of BNP Paribas Fortis will continue to reflect the Belgian identity of the institution, amongst others with an appropriate representation of Belgian independent directors on the Board of Directors until 2020 and the presence in Belgium of specialized centers.

The Belgian State will realize a capital gain of approximately 900 million euros at the closing of the transaction.

The negative impact of the transaction on the “Common Equity Tier 1 Basel 3” ratio of the BNP Paribas Group is estimated at around 50 basis points, and the transaction will be accretive to the estimated pro forma net income per share for 2013 by approximately 3%.

At the end of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Minister of Finance Koen Geens declared: “The objectives set by the Government when the Belgian State initially invested were fully achieved. The bank has met its commitments despite a challenging environment. The moment had therefore come for the Belgian State to disengage from BNP Paribas Fortis. We are confident in the ability of the bank to maintain its role in the Belgian economy. The sale proceeds of 3.25 billion euros will help the Belgian State to achieve its public debt objectives. In addition, the Belgian State welcomes BNP Paribas' significant investment in Belgium for the set up of two group-wide data centers.”

Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas, declared: “The partnership with the Belgian State brought the stability that was needed for the integration to occur in the best conditions for the employees and the clients of the bank and we are grateful to the Belgian State, which also remains one of our major shareholders, for this collaboration. We will continue to develop BNP Paribas Fortis in accordance with the principles that have been ours during the integration phase, both in labor matters and in terms of support to the economy.”

Herman Daems, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BNP Paribas Fortis, declared: “The integration with BNP Paribas has been beneficial for all of our stakeholders. Our shareholder BNP Paribas fully supports our strategy to the service of our clients and this transaction does not in any way affect our commitment towards them and towards the Belgian economy. I would like to thank our clients as well as our employees for their respective contributions.”