PRESS RELEASE
07/03/2001

DEXIA and ARCO have started negotiations

DEXIA and ARCO have started negotiations in order to examine a possible alliance in respect to banking and insurance activities and to determine the conditions under which such alliance could be realised.

Through its Belgian subsidiary DEXIA Bank, the Dexia-group operates a network of approximately 1000 branches and it is the biggest supplier of financial services to the local authorities in this country.

The main subsidiary of the ARCO group is Artesia Banking Corporation, with BACOB Bank, ARTESIA Bank and DVV insurance as main entities. The group has 584 banking branches in Benelux. DVV occupies the fifth position in the insurance market in Belgium.

Both groups, interested by the potential that could be delivered by such an alliance, especially in Belgium but also in other countries where those kind of activities are exercised, have agreed to examine all the aspects involved in order to make a final judgement in the near future.

Besides this common intention not any agreement has been made for the moment. Both parties will inform the market when the final decision has been made.