ABN Amro's chief executive says Dutch bank is ready to return to the private sector

AMSTERDAM – The chief executive of ABN Amro says the Dutch bank is ready to be privatized.

Gerrit Zalm said on a late-night television talk show Wednesday that the bank is sufficiently capitalized and had remained profitable despite a recession in the Netherlands.

“We’re ready,” said Zalm, a former finance minister.

The country’s current government has said the earliest the bank would be reprivatized is 2014.

ABN Amro was nationalized in 2008 to avoid a meltdown of the Dutch financial system. The rescue cost taxpayers at least 32 billion euros ($42 billion).

As one of three banks dominating the Dutch market, analysts say the restructured ABN might be worth 20 billion euros.