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ABN Amro on defensive over World Online IPO

The bank has admitted the Dutch stock market forced it to make last minute clarifications to World Online's prospectus. It also blamed the 'grey market' in shares for inflating investor expectations.

ABN Amro claims it told the exchange that the Internet company would sue if it didn't let the initial public offering proceed, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal Europe.

The bank and its syndicate partner Goldman Sachs has been under fire from investors since it was revealed that Nina Brink, WOL's founder, had sold most of her stake in the company months before the flotation.

3,500 investors have formed a foundation to lobby for a refund on their shares at IPO price. The shares have fallen to less than a third of their E43 offer price.