The Dutch government says it is selling nationalized bank ABN Amro through an initial public listing that could be launched in the last three months of the year.

ABN Amro announced the IPO early Tuesday, saying the exact timing was subject to market conditions.

The Dutch state spent 21.7 billion euros to save the bank when it was nationalized in 2008 together with the Dutch operations of one of its would-be acquirers, Belgium's now-defunct Fortis NV, in a takeover bid that went horribly wrong.

ABN Amro has since gone through an aggressive restructuring, including slashing jobs and selling off foreign units.

Chairman of the bank's board, Gerrit Zalm, calls the IPO "an important step towards our new future."