Rabo news https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/investors/irnews_research/rss.html Rabobank News https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/investors/irnews_research/rss.html https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/investors/irnews_research/rss.html Rabobank News en <![CDATA[2016: Year of transition]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/press-release-annual-results-2016.html Rabobank’s transition got off to a good start in 2016. The bank’s strategy focuses on excellent customer service, improvement in the financial results, and a flexible and stronger balance sheet. Progress was made in all these areas. Customer satisfaction rose in all segments thanks to investments in digitalisation, organisational changes, and improvements in service provision. In 2016, as a cooperative bank, Rabobank reinforced its leading position in the Netherlands and successfully expanded its role in food & agri worldwide. The capital base was further strengthened, in line with the objectives. Thanks to a good operating result, the net profit amounted to EUR 2,024 million (-9%). The result came under substantial downward pressure from non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, an extra provision for compensating commercial customers with an interest rate derivatives contract, and an impairment on the stake in Achmea. The underlying operating profit before tax was EUR 4,090 million, (+14%). This is largely attributable to lower loan impairment charges and cost savings, while income levels were stable despite a low interest rate environment

  • The net profit amounted to EUR 2,024 million. All Rabobank businesses in the Dutch and international markets showed improvement in underlying results. The underlying operating profit before tax was EUR 4,090 million, 14% up on 2015 (EUR 3,592 million).
  • The decline in net interest income was limited despite reduction of the balance sheet and the low interest rate environment. Partly owing to the recovery of the Dutch economy, loan impairment charges fell sharply to EUR 310 million or 7 basis points, well below the long-year average.
  • The retail and commercial loan portfolios amounted to EUR 424 billion (EUR 425 billion in 2015). Amounts due to customers increased by EUR 10 billion to EUR 348 billion. Private savings rose by EUR 2 billion to EUR 142 billion despite additional repayments on residential mortgages.
  • Staff expenses fell by 6%, mainly due to a drop of 6,446 FTEs, bringing the total to 45,567 FTEs (internal and external employees). The intended reduction in staffing is proceeding quicker than planned. The cost/income ratio exclusive regulatory levies rose to 67.1%, partly due to non-recurring factors.
  • Rabobank aims to achieve a common equity tier 1 ratio of at least 14% in 2020 and a total capital ratio of at least 25%. Accordingly, Rabobank further reinforced its strong capital position in 2016. Solvency—measured as fully loaded common equity tier 1 ratio—rose by 1.5 percentage points to 13.5%. The current (transitional) common equity tier 1 ratio is 14.0% (31-12-2015: 13.5%). The sale of Athlon had a beneficial effect of 0.4 percentage points. The (transitional) total capital ratio improved from 23.2% to 25.0%.
  • In January 2017, Rabobank issued new Rabobank Certificates for a nominal amount of EUR 1.5 billion to retail and institutional investors. This raised the pro-forma common equity tier 1 ratio by a further 0.8 percentage point. Rabobank is accelerating the realisation of its capital targets in anticipation of an expected increase in capital requirements.

“2016 was a year of transition for Rabobank. We’re making progress towards achieving our strategic objectives but we’re not there yet. The bank’s objectives are to achieve excellent customer service, improvement in the financial results, and a flexible and stronger balance sheet. In 2016, we achieved what we set out to do in all three areas. I am proud that, thanks to the enormous efforts of our employees, all businesses have generated improved results, both in the Netherlands and abroad, and that surveys among our 8.7 million customers show that customer satisfaction has risen. Customers in our Retail, Private banking, Commercial and Wholesale banking businesses in the Netherlands, and in the food & agri domain worldwide, are increasingly appreciative of our service provision. Based on the developments in 2016, we look to the future with confidence.”

“On 1 January 2016, our new cooperative structure came into effect, making us more customer-oriented and more effective. In the new governance model, the local banks have a maximum focus on serving our customers in the Netherlands. Where possible, we perform support functions centrally. We put intensive effort into this transition in 2016.”

“The improvements at the bank are proceeding at high speed and are continuing in 2017. This asks a great deal from our employees. Many of them are seeing their jobs disappear as a consequence of digitalisation of our services, and the implementation of much-needed improvements particularly in the back-office and support functions. Certainly in view of the heavy demands they face, we are extremely grateful to our employees for their efforts in what was a very intensive year.”

“In 2016 we took several new initiatives to improve our customer service and to innovate. A good example is the 'mortgage within a week’ service. Since 1 July 2016, we have offered interest-rate averaging to our mortgage customers. Our market share in the mortgage sector rose from 20% to 21%. Commercial customers whose funding needs are less than EUR 1 million have benefited from our service, which offers them clarity on their funding request within one day. We are developing a model for peer-to-peer lending through Rabo&Co, which matches private banking customers with SME customers.”

“For our Wholesale clients, we were able to play a leading role in many major food & agri and other transactions in the Netherlands and worldwide. We were recently named the Best Commodity Bank by Global Finance Magazine. 2016 was also an extremely successful year for the international Rural business, with extremely high customer satisfaction scores and growth in the loan portfolio. One of the highlights was the Farm to Fork event on innovation in food & agri. The event was a showcase for how the bank brings clients together and shares knowledge.”

“In sectors experiencing structural problems, such as glass horticulture, pig farming and the dairy industry, Rabobank has taken the lead in the search for solutions. We are taking responsibility, in partnership with the sector.”

“Rabobank seeks to reflect the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in its activities. From a broad sustainability perspective, the SDGs provide direction to the priorities for a sustainable society. In this respect, our Banking for Food activities are leading in the world, but our activities at local banks in the Netherlands and through Rabobank Foundation also make a contribution. We make both people and resources available to shape these activities. Our cooperative dividend, which is invested in projects determined by the Member Councils of the local banks, amounted to EUR 49 million.”

“We received many accolades for our efforts on sustainability in 2016. In the Dutch Transparency Benchmark, we earned joint first place in the financial institutions category. RobecoSAM puts Rabobank at number 7 in its worldwide ranking of over 100 international banks and gave us the maximum score for climate contribution. In 2016, Sustainalytics analysed 396 banks worldwide, ranking Rabobank number 1 for its positive impact on the environment. Our joint venture with FMO and Norfund underlines our deep commitment to sustainable growth and development in Africa and its local financial sector. Together we invest in African banks to stimulate growth. Also worthy of mention is our first green bond, which we issued in 2016 with a total value of EUR 500 million. We will invest the returns in sustainable energy projects, such as wind farms and solar panels. Our vision on Banking for the Netherlands and Banking for Food drive the agenda for our contribution to the SDGs.”

“2016 was a year of contrast for Rabobank in financial terms. We achieved good operational results, saw a sharp fall in the loan impairment charges as the economy picked up, and succeeded in bringing down costs. The result was tempered by, among other things, non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, extra provisions for compensating commercial customers with an interest rate derivatives contract, and an impairment on the stake in Achmea. We achieved a good underlying operating profit before tax of EUR 4,090 million, 14% up on 2015.”

“A strong capital base is one of the main pillars of Rabobank’s strategy. Our objective is to achieve a common equity tier 1 ratio of at least 14% in 2020 and a total capital ratio of at least 25%. In 2016, we once again reinforced our strong capital position, partly through the sale of Athlon. The recent issue of new Rabobank Certificates with a nominal amount of EUR 1.5 billion also impacts the fully loaded common equity tier 1 ratio, thereby accelerating the realisation of our target of at least 14% in anticipation of a possible increase in capital requirements.”

“In 2016, we took steps to reduce the balance sheet, including the sale of mortgage portfolios to investors and a more intense focus on core activities. We intend to take more of the loan portfolio off-balance and will continue to reduce the balance sheet in 2017.”

In 2017, economic growth will pick up, but at the same time, there is economic and political uncertainty around the world. In Europe, the consequences of Brexit and the outcome of elections in the Netherlands, Germany and France will be influential factors.

In 2017, Rabobank will continue to invest in customer service provision. We will give priority to our digital activities and innovation, in combination with our identity as a bank firmly anchored in local communities and always nearby. Outside the Netherlands, we will further capitalise on the growth potential in Rural Banking and through our continued focus on F&A, we will reinforce our leading position in the F&A chain for our Wholesale clients. Overall, the positive developments Rabobank experienced in 2016 give us confidence for 2017 and beyond.

Rabobank Press Office +31 (0)30 2162758 or pressoffice@rabobank.nl

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

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Investor News Thu, 16 Feb 2017 06:30:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Webcast 2016 financial results Rabobank]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/webcast-2016-rabobank-financial-results.html

 

Rabobank will present its full year results 2016 on Thursday February 16, 2017. The press release and annual report will be published on www.rabobank.com/results around 7.30 a.m. CET. At 2 p.m. CET Rabobank will host a webcast for analysts and institutional investors.

Rabobank’s CEO Wiebe Draijer and CFO Bas Brouwers will present the results and discuss current developments, followed by a Q&A session. The event will be conducted in English.

Registration is required in order to participate in the webcast. For more information about the registration process, please send an email to IR@rabobank.com.

The on-demand version of the webcast, including the presentation sheets, can be found here.

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Investor News Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:01:50 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank increases capital buffers by issuing EUR 1.5 billion new Rabobank Certificates]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/Rabobank_increases_capital_buffers_by_issuing_EUR_1.5_billion_new_Rabobank_Certificates.html Further to the offering of newly issued Rabobank Certificates, announced on 11 January 2017, Rabobank announces that the nominal issued amount will be EUR 1.5 billion. As a result of the issuance, Rabobank has accelerated meeting its target Common Equity Tier 1 ratio (‘CET1’) of minimal 14% and anticipates on an expected increase in capital requirements.

Rabobank will issue 60 million new Rabobank Certificates. The price per newly issued Rabobank Certificate has been set at 108% of the nominal value of EUR 25. The total book of demand was 2.4 times oversubscribed on the back of demand by both institutional and retail investors.

Delivery and payment, as well as the commencement of trading of the newly issued Rabobank Certificates will take place on Tuesday 24 January 2017 at 09.00 a.m. CET. After the issuance, a total nominal amount of approximately EUR 7.4 billion in Rabobank Certificates (297,961,365 Rabobank Certificates) will be outstanding.

Rabobank Certificates are certificates of Participations which are issued by Rabobank (through Stichting AK Rabobank Certificaten). The Rabobank Certificates are perpetual instruments listed on Euronext Amsterdam.

Rabobank Certificates are the most deeply subordinated capital of Rabobank and qualify as CET1 capital. Distributions on the Rabobank Certificates are discretionary and based on the nominal value. As per the current payment policy, Rabobank intends to pay distributions equal to the yield on the most recent 10-year Dutch state loan + 1.5%-point annually with a minimum of 6.5% annually. The intended distributions are paid quarterly.

Information on the issue of Rabobank Certificates can be found at Rabobank.com/ir.

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

This press release is not for distribution, directly or indirectly in or into the United States. This press release is not an offer to sell Rabobank Certificates or the solicitation of any offer to buy Rabobank Certificates, nor shall there be any offer of Rabobank Certificates in any jurisdiction in which such offer or sale would be unlawful.

This press release and the offering are only addressed to, and directed in Member States (other than the Netherlands) of the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) at persons who are “Qualified Investors” within the meaning of Article 2(1)(e) of the Prospectus Directive (“Qualified Investors”). For these purposes, the expression “Prospectus Directive” means Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended.

In addition, in the United Kingdom this press release is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, Qualified Investors (i) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the “Order”) and qualified investors falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order, and (ii) to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as “Relevant Persons”).

This press release must not be acted on or relied on (i) in the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom, and (ii) in any Member State of the EEA other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Qualified Investors. Any investment or investment activity to which this press release relates is available only to (a) Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and (b) Qualified Investors in member states of the EEA (other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

Each prospective investor should proceed on the assumption that it must bear the economic risk of an investment in Rabobank Certificates. None of Rabobank or any of the banks involved with the offering make any representation as to (i) the suitability of the Rabobank Participations for any particular investor, (ii) the appropriate accounting treatment and potential tax consequences of investing in the Rabobank Participations or (iii) the future performance of the Rabobank Participations either in absolute terms or relative to competing investments.

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Investor News Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:50:13 GMT
<![CDATA[Offering of new Rabobank Certificates to further increase capital buffers]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/Offering_of_new_Rabobank_Certificates_to_further_increase_capital_buffers.html Rabobank intends to increase its capital buffers. The bank is offering new Rabobank Certificates to retail and institutional investors to further strengthen and optimise its capital position. With this offering, Rabobank will accelerate the realisation of its targets in anticipation of an expected increase in capital requirements. The subscription period for retail investors opens today and closes on 16 January 2017 17:30h CET. A roadshow for institutional investors will take place in the coming days. The offered Rabobank Certificates may be issued at a discount to the current trading price. The minimum expected issue size is EUR 1 billion.

A strong capital base is one of the main pillars of Rabobank’s strategy. Therefore, Rabobank targets by 2020 a Common Equity Tier 1-ratio ("CET1") of at least 14% of its risk-weighted assets and a total capital ratio of at least 25%. As a result of the Rabobank Certificates offering and given an ongoing strong focus on CET1, total capital and loss absorbing capital, Rabobank has adjusted its target Additional Tier 1 layer to roughly 2% from 3.5% of its risk-weighted assets. This will further optimise the capital stack.

As the timing of the issuance is close to the publication of Rabobank’s annual results, Rabobank announces today that it expects that the group’s capital ratios at 31 December 2016 will be higher than the corresponding ratios as reported in the half year 2016 results. On 30 June 2016 the (transitional) CET1 ratio was 13.4% and the total capital ratio amounted to 23.5%. Rabobank’s strong capital ratios are well above the current regulatory requirements and the intended issuance of Rabobank Certificates will further increase them. Rabobank also wants to inform investors that the result for the second half of 2016 will be negatively impacted by a non-cash impairment of Rabobank’s stake in Achmea of approximately EUR 700 million due to developments in the insurance sector. This impairment will be more than offset by a strong operational performance, low loan impairment charges and positive effects of the cost reduction programmes. Furthermore, this impairment has limited impact on the capital ratios.

Bas Brouwers, Chief Financial Officer: "Rabobank is traditionally one of the best capitalised banks in the world. The intended issuance will enable us to prudently manage our CET1 capital base in anticipation of the expected strengthening of regulatory requirements. In addition to the issuance, we will continue to reduce and optimise our balance sheet through the sale of loans to investors, develop lending opportunities which are less capital intensive and focus on our core business. This allows us to continue to serve our customers with mortgages and business loans and to keep on improving our performance in line with our ambition to be a leading customer-oriented cooperative bank in the Netherlands and in Food & Agri worldwide.”

Rabobank Certificates are certificates of Participations issued by Rabobank (through Stichting AK Rabobank Certificates). The Rabobank Certificates are perpetual instruments listed on Euronext Amsterdam and have a nominal value of EUR 25 each. The current total nominal amount outstanding is EUR 5.9 billion.

The Rabobank Certificates are the most subordinated capital instruments issued by Rabobank and qualify as CET1 capital. Distributions are fully discretionary. Rabobank currently intends to pay a distribution on the nominal value which equals to the effective return on the most recent 10-year Dutch state loan + 1.5%-point per annum with a minimum of 6.5% on an annual basis. The discretionary distribution is paid quarterly.

For this issuance, Rabobank has mandated an international syndicate of banks. In the Netherlands, Rabobank will act as Retail Coordinator and ABN Amro and ING will be involved in the retail offering.

Information on the issue of Rabobank Certificates can be found on www.rabobank.com/ir

 

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

This press release is not for distribution, directly or indirectly in or into the United States. This press release is not an offer to sell Rabobank Certificates or the solicitation of any offer to buy Rabobank Certificates, nor shall there be any offer of Rabobank Certificates in any jurisdiction in which such offer or sale would be unlawful.

This press release and the offering are only addressed to, and directed in Member States (other than the Netherlands) of the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) at persons who are “Qualified Investors” within the meaning of Article 2(1)(e) of the Prospectus Directive (“Qualified Investors”). For these purposes, the expression “Prospectus Directive” means Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended.

In addition, in the United Kingdom this press release is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, Qualified Investors (i) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the “Order”) and qualified investors falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order, and (ii) to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as “Relevant Persons”).

This press release must not be acted on or relied on (i) in the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom, and (ii) in any Member State of the EEA other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Qualified Investors. Any investment or investment activity to which this press release relates is available only to (a) Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and (b) Qualified Investors in member states of the EEA (other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

Each prospective investor should proceed on the assumption that it must bear the economic risk of an investment in Rabobank Certificates. None of Rabobank or any of the banks involved with the offering make any representation as to (i) the suitability of the Rabobank Participations for any particular investor, (ii) the appropriate accounting treatment and potential tax consequences of investing in the Rabobank Participations or (iii) the future performance of the Rabobank Participations either in absolute terms or relative to competing investments.

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Investor News Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:15:44 GMT
<![CDATA[FGH Bank completes sale of RNHB]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2016/FGH_Bank_completes_sale_of_RNHB.html FGH Bank has completed the sale of the real estate financing activities of RNHB Hypotheekbank. RNHB Mortgage Bank is a label of FGH Bank NV, a fully owned subsidiary of Rabobank. RNHB Mortgage Bank has been sold to a consortium of investors including Vesting Finance.

RNHB has 60 employees, a credit portfolio of €1.7 billion and a customer database of more than 9 thousand loans.

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Investor News Thu, 29 Dec 2016 19:43:54 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank starts registration of Covered Bond Programme]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2016/Rabobank_starts_registration_of_Covered_Bond_Programme.html Rabobank has started the process to register its inaugural Covered Bond Programme with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Rabobank intends to incorporate covered bonds into its future funding mix. The programme will further diversify and optimize Rabobank's funding composition, which supports the Strategic Framework of the bank.

An inaugural benchmark transaction could be contemplated in 2017 but timing will depend on market conditions and the overall funding needs of the bank. Furthermore, Rabobank requires DNB approval of the programme before it can decide to issue covered bonds.

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Investor News Tue, 13 Dec 2016 19:43:54 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank data in EBA publication ]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2016/Rabobank_data_in_EBA_publication_2016.html Rabobank notes the announcements made today by the European Banking Authority (EBA) regarding the information of the EU-wide Transparency Exercise 2016 and fulfilment of the EBA Board of Supervisors’ decision.

Background 2016 EU-wide Transparency Exercise
The Board of Supervisors of the EBA decided in its meeting of 20 of April 2016 to carry out a Transparency Exercise in 2016, which will be done onwards regularly with annual frequency. It will be published at the same time as the Risk Assessment Report (RAR). The annual transparency exercise will be based solely on COREP/FINREP data on the form and scope to assure a sufficient and appropriate level of information to market participants. 

The templates were centrally filled in by the EBA and sent afterwards for verification by banks and supervisors. Banks had the chance to correct any errors detected and to resubmit correct data through the regular supervisory reporting channels.

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Investor News Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:40:50 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank confirms ECB capital requirements 2017]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2016/Rabobank_confirms_ECB_capital_requirements_2017.html Rabobank has received notification of the ECB’s final decision concerning the own funds requirements that it has to meet as of 1 January 2017, following the results of the 2016 Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP).

The decision requires that Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. (“Rabobank”) maintains a total SREP Capital requirement of 9.75% on a consolidated and unconsolidated basis. The requirement consists of a 8% minimum own funds requirement and a 1.75% Pillar 2 requirement.

The total CET1 minimum requirement is 6.25% consisting of the minimum Pillar 1 requirement (4.5%) and the Pillar 2 requirement (1.75%). In addition, Rabobank should comply with the phasing in combined buffer requirements consisting of a Capital Conservation Buffer (1.25%) and a Systemic Risk Buffer imposed by the Dutch Central Bank (“DNB”) of 1.5% in 2017. This translates into an aggregate 9% CET1 requirement for 2017.

In the years 2018 and 2019 the CET1 requirement will increase, as both the Capital Conservation Buffer and the Systemic Risk Buffer requirements will be further phased-in (by 0.625%-point and 0.75%-point per annum respectively). This will result in an expected aggregate CET1 requirement of 11.75% in 2019.  Rabobank currently has a CET1 ratio target of at least 14%.

As from 2017 the Pillar 2 surcharge will be split by the ECB into the aforementioned Pillar 2 requirement and a Pillar 2 guidance. The 9% CET1 requirement excludes the Pillar 2 guidance, which is not disclosed. The Pillar 2 guidance is not relevant for the Maximum Distributable Amount (“MDA”). 

With a CET1 ratio of 13.4% as per 30 June 2016, Rabobank already complies with the requirements for 2017. The fully loaded CET1 ratio of Rabobank was 12.4% as per 30 June 2016. With a Tier 1 ratio of 16.8% and a Total Capital Ratio of 23.5% as per 30 June 2016 Rabobank also comfortably meets its total SREP capital requirements.

Requirement on an unconsolidated basis

The decision also requires that Rabobank maintains a CET1 ratio of 7.5% on an unconsolidated basis. This 7.5% capital requirement includes: the minimum Pillar 1 requirement (4.5%), the Pillar 2 requirement (1.75%) and the Capital Conservation Buffer (1.25%).  The unconsolidated CET1 ratio of Rabobank was 16.4% as at 30 June 2016.


Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

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Investor News Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:15:44 GMT
<![CDATA[Sale of Athlon to Daimler Financial Services finalized]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2016/Sale_of_Athlon_to_Daimler_Financial_Services_finalized.html DLL, a Rabobank subsidiary and global provider of asset-based financial solutions, confirmed the sale of its mobility solutions entity Athlon Car Lease International B.V. including all its subsidiaries to Daimler Financial Services, a division of Daimler AG.

The sale transaction, announced in July 2016 and valued at € 1.1 billion, recently received final approvals and consents from the necessary regulatory authorities. The company will continue to operate under the Athlon brand name, with the current offices of Athlon in Almere, The Netherlands, serving as headquarters for the newly integrated fleet management company.

“We now hand over our vehicle leasing business to a company that possesses all prerequisites to continue Athlon’s track record of success”, stated Bill Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of DLL. “This is the right step for Athlon and the right step for DLL, who can now wholly focus all of its resources, investments and innovation toward our core business of vendor finance, and create greater synergies with our parent, Rabobank.”

Wiebe Draijer, CEO of Rabobank, commented: “This sale represents a positive outcome for all parties.  Athlon now has the opportunity to grow under the leadership of Daimler Financial Services, and DLL will further sharpen its vendor finance focus and continue to fulfil an important strategic role in our overall product portfolio. The transaction will also improve the Common Equity Tier One (CET1) ratio of Rabobank by approximately 40 basis points, which is fully in line with our ambition to further strengthen our capital position.”

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Investor News Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:30:55 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Uncertain economic outlook calls for robust policy]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2016/rabobank-uncertain-economic-outlook-calls-for-robust-policy.html Now that uncertainty looks set to only increase with the arrival of President Trump, it would be sensible for the government to address the structural weaknesses in our economy in the areas of pensions, the labour market, health care and the housing market. What are now hairline cracks could turn into gaping holes or worse if the economic situation deteriorates. Repairing these hairline cracks now would be an efficient way of avoiding this. This is the message from the Rabobank economists in their Outlook 2017 published today.

Traditionally, the Rabo economists present their forecasts for the coming year in the annual Outlook. The Dutch economy is expected to post growth of 2.0 per cent in 2016 and 1.8 per cent in 2017. Hans Stegeman, Chief Economist for the Netherlands at Rabobank: “The Dutch economy’s performance this year and next will be slightly better than the European average. This is due to factors such as the improvement in the housing market and the recovery in the labour market. But the Netherlands is still a small and open economy. The international uncertainties have only increased with the election of Donald Trump as US president, and therefore the uncertainty with respect to our forecasts for 2017 has increased as well.”

Three economic scenarios for the Netherlands
The high degree of uncertainty regarding the economy has led to the economists developing three potential scenarios for the Netherlands in the 2018-2023 period, which they have called Muddling Through, The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Deglobalisation. Stegeman: “With the Muddling Through scenario, the name says it all: there will be no visionary policy and the structural problems will not be addressed. Economic growth will average 1.4 per cent in the 2018-2023 period.
In the Fourth Industrial Revolution scenario, we will have underestimated the productivity gains from today’s technological developments and the Dutch and German governments will take measures to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, including a strong budgetary stimulus. Annual growth in the Netherlands will be 2.3 per cent and growth will pick up in the rest of the eurozone as well.

Finally we have the Deglobalisation scenario, in which the world becomes much more protectionist and there is little willingness to engage in international cooperation. World trade will slump, and annual economic growth in the Netherlands will be only 0.3%. The bandwidth of the scenarios appears to be wide, but the limited economic growth in the Deglobalisation scenario is still higher than the average seen in the Netherlands since the Great Financial Crisis.”

There are a number of bottlenecks in our economy to be deduced from these three scenarios. Stegeman: “The damage to the Dutch labour market in the scenarios is still acceptable. One important reason for this is of course the ageing of the population. But this does not mean that nothing needs to happen. Without policy action, the big difference between the self-employed and ‘permanent’ employees will indeed continue to be a problem. And in the Fourth Industrial Revolution scenario, this also means that people’s ability to adapt will be inadequate, so that some groups will likely face long-term unemployment.

Second, the development of disposable income is not favourable. Even in the Fourth Industrial Revolution  scenario there will be only a limited increase in purchasing power. This is entirely because we have structured our affairs in the Netherlands on a collective basis. Dutch households have relatively low freely disposable income, because firstly a significant amount of assets are locked up in property and pensions, and secondly because much of our spending, on health care for example, is funded collectively. In each scenario, making changes to the Dutch institutions associated with pensions, health care and home ownership would be a sensible move.”

Global economy to grow by 3 per cent in 2017
In the Outlook, the Rabo economists also look at the developments in the global economy and the financial markets. Elwin de Groot, Senior Market Economist at Rabobank: “The global economy is expected to grow at a rate of around three per cent in 2017. The election of Trump has increased uncertainty worldwide. Both his proposals for a protectionist trade policy and the geopolitical implications of his plans are raising the level of uncertainty. Europe is also entering a period of political uncertainty and faces serious challenges. The Chinese economy appears to be stabilising, but this country also has its bottlenecks.”

De Groot adds: “We think that the recent rise in capital markets interest rates is only temporary. The political uncertainty means that a strong rally by the euro against the dollar is unlikely. Lastly, we think that government bonds from countries such as Italy, Greece and Portugal will continue to be sensitive to political developments in Europe in 2017.”

 

The Outlook 2017 is available at www.rabobank.com/economics

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Investor News Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:00:00 GMT