ANNOUNCEMENT 09 Oct 2008In October 2008, the governments of Belgium, France and Luxembourg announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the Letter from the EC to Belgium, France and Luxembourg - Brussels, 19 November 2008 C(2008)7388 final - http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_C9_2009
the Letter from the EC to Belgium - Bruxelles, 17.10.2011 C(2011) 7468 final (french) - http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_33751
On 9 October 2008 Belgium, France and Luxembourg publicly announced the implementation of the guarantee for Dexia.
Dexia is a financial group active in the banking and insurance sectors. The parent company, Dexia SA, is a limited company incorporated in Belgium and listed on the Euronext Paris and Euronext Brussels stock exchanges. Its stock market value was EUR11.7 billion on 30 June 2008.
By an agreement concluded on 9 October 2008, the Member States concerned decided to set up a guarantee mechanism for Dexia. It is a joint and non-several guarantee extended by Belgium (60.5%), France (36.5%) and Luxembourg (3%). The guarantee covers all financing obtained by Dexia SA and its subsidiaries Dexia Banque Belgique, Dexia Banque Internationale Luxembourg SA and Dexia Crédit Local from credit institutions and institutional depositors, and the bonds and debt instruments issued by Dexia to institutional investors, provided these financing measures, bonds or securities fall due before 31 October 2011. Financing which can be covered by the guarantee is limited to EUR150 billion, corresponding to all the financing issued before 9 October 2008 and falling due before 31 October 2009.
The European Commission took the following decision:
"The Commission considers that the measures at issue are selective since they only concern one undertaking, namely the Dexia group. Given Dexia's size and importance on the Belgian, French and Luxembourg markets and the fact that, without the aid, the group could have faced insolvency, which would have significantly changed the structure of the banking sector in all three countries, the Commission considers that the measures at issue affect trade between Member States and distort or threaten to distort competition. The aid measures include state resources and are clearly imputable to the Member States concerned." (par. 24 of the Letter from the EC to Belgium, France and Luxembourg - Brussels, 19 November 2008 C(2008)7388 final).
The Commission concluded that the aid measures were implemented in violation of Article 88(3) of the EC Treaty. The Commission, however, has decided not to raise any objections to the state aid measures on the basis of Article 87(3)(b) of the Treaty.
Buyout of Dexia Banque Belgique (DBB) by the Belgian State - SA.33751
On 12 October 2011, Belgium announced to the EC additional measures related to the restructuring plan of Dexia SA, approved by the decision ofFebruary 26, 2010, consisting in a State buyout by Belgium of DBB trough the purchase from Dexia SA of 100% of DBB's shares for an amount of 4 billion euros.
The European Commission came to the conclusion that the buyout of DBB's shares by Belgium is considered as State aid in favour of Dexia SA.
The Commission decided in conformity with Art.108 par.2 TFUE to open a formal investigation procedure concerning the buyout measure of DBB by Belgium. However, willing to preserve financial stability, the Commission decided on the basis of art. 107 par. 3 (b) TFUE to temporary allow the said measure for a duration of 6 months or if Belgium submits during this period a restructuration plan. (par. 67 of the letter from the EC to Belgium - Bruxelles, 17.10.2011 C(2011) 7468 final)
Update 2 - New state support from Belgium , France & Luxembourg
Additional state guarantees for Dexia where given by the French state SA.33760, Belgium SA.33763 as well as Luxembourg SA.33764. This newly state aid was authorized by the EC on 21 December 2011 and limited to 31 may 2012.
Update 3 - Prolongation of sate support measures
On 25 May 2012, the states notified the EC about there intention to prolonge the guarentee scheme until 30 September 2012.
On 7 September 2012, the three states informed the Commission about a second prolongation until 31 January 2013
On 16 November 2012, the EC confirms the second prolongation and allows for a continuation of the scheme until 31 January 2013 (Official Journal C352 , 16.11.2012)
Update 4 - Sale of Dexia BIL (Luxembourgian part)
On23 March 2012, Luxembourg notified the sale of Dexia BIL. 90 percent of Dexia BIL are sold to the private buyer Precision Capital while 10 per cent remain in the hands of the Luxembourgian State. The EC argues that the sales process has not been open, transparent and non-dscriminatory (par. 51, letter from the EC to Luxembourg, Brussels 21 December 2012)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.