February 21, 2008 10:01 ET

Fortis takes advantage of a market opportunity and strengthens solvency with non-dilutive Core Tier 1 Capital

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - February 21, 2008) -

Fortis launched on Monday 18 February 2008 a Core* Tier-1 capital transaction ("NITSH" or "Non-Innovative Tier-1 Hybrid Securities"). The transaction is non-dilutive, in line with Fortis's announcement of 27 January 2008.

Fortis successfully placed an amount of USD 750 million, carrying a cash coupon of 8.25% at the tight end of the marketing range, after marketing the transaction to institutional intermediaries in Asia and Europe, who will subsequently place the securities with their individual high net worth and retail clients.

This instrument is a non equity-linked, perpetual and subordinated debt, callable as of 2013 and without incentive to redeem. The securities are qualified as "non-innovative Tier-1", not subject to a 15% regulatory limit. In the Belgian regulatory environment, this transaction benefits from a pioneer regulatory treatment and sets a precedent of this type.

In current turbulent markets, capital raising opportunities are limited and capital is a scarce resource. The Asian Retail market currently offers an attractive investor base for issuers to raise solvency. Fortis has decided to act quickly and on a preemptive basis to take full advantage of this opportunity, as the availability and liquidity of this market has in the past proved to be limited. This innovative step in the Asian Retail market allows Fortis to strengthen its capital ratios at a tax deductible cost while efficiently diversifying its investor base.

*The securities are qualified as "non-innovative Tier-1" capital, meaning falling outside the Tier-1 capital regulatory limit of 15% for innovative capital instruments.

Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. We offer our personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through our own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners. With a market capitalisation of EUR 32.8 billion (31/01/2008), Fortis ranks among the 15 largest financial institutions in Europe. Our sound solvency position, our presence in more than 50 countries and our dedicated, professional workforce of 60,000 enable us to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide our clients with optimum support. More information is available on

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