**UPDATE (4:29pm): Future of fortis
to be decided by Sunday 10pm (De Tijd)**
Breaking news: according to a report in De Standaard (in Dutch), Fortis, the Belgian-Dutch banking and insurance group, will be taken over by either BNP Paribas or ING. Negotiations are expected to resume Sunday morning. Fortis is the brainchild of Count Maurice Lippens, the éminence grise of Belgian industry, and the most prominent member of the BEL-20 index. Whatever agreement is reached by Monday morning will send shock waves through the markets. A Fortis bank run is the last thing the Belgian government needs right now. And I’m going out on a limb here, but Fortis may want to shelve its latest advertising campaign.