Competition for Dutch bank ABN Amro increased another notch this morning as the Royal Bank of Scotland-led (RBS) consortium boosted its bid.
RBS has announced its consortium with Belgian bank Fortis and Spain's Banco Santander will now pay 93 per cent of its 71 billion offer in cash, up from 79 per cent previously.
The move is an attempt to increase the attractiveness of its bid after the Netherlands' supreme court approved the sale of ABN subsidiary La Salle to the US-based Bank of America on Friday.
ABN takeover rival Barclay's 64 billion (£43 billion) bid had been conditional on the La Salle sale. This had been challenged by Dutch group VEB because it claimed the bank's shareholders should have been consulted over the move.
An initial court ruling backed VEB's claims but was overturned by Friday's decision, which said a shareholder vote was not required.
The Barclay's bid appeared back on track, despite sustained opposition from some shareholders who oppose its plans to split ABN's assets.
Shares in Barclay's rose by 1.68 per cent on early morning trading, while shares in RBS rose by 0.87 per cent.