The Dutch state has asked the European Commission (EC) for more time to reach agreement over the sale of some ABN AMRO [ABNNV.UL] assets to Deutsche Bank, the Dutch Finance Ministry said on Saturday.
The Netherlands nationalised the Dutch operations of ABN AMRO and Fortis [FORTH.UL] last October after Fortis Holding lost the confidence of investors.
Fortis, together with Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain's Santander, bought ABN AMRO in 2007, and the EC ordered Fortis to sell a package of ABN assets to address competition concerns.
Fortis struck a deal to sell certain operations, at a 300 million euros ($428 million) loss, to Deutsche Bank for 709 million euros but ABN and the Dutch state have been trying to find a better deal with Deutsche Bank since the nationalisation.
The parties are coming closer to an agreement but there are still some complicated issues that need to be resolved, a Dutch Finance Ministry spokeswoman said.
The ministry has asked for a two week extension of a deadline that expired on Friday. The ministry has not yet received a reply from the EC, the spokeswoman said.
A source familiar with Deutsche Bank's thinking told Reuters on Friday that Deutsche Bank's position has not changed -- it wants the original package of assets at the original price.
The package represented about 10 percent of ABN's Dutch operations -- commercial bank Hollandsche Bank Unie, 13 advisory branches, two corporate clients units, and a factoring portfolio.
(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Ruth Pitchford) ($1=.7008 Euro)