The Dutch government says it will sell off ABN Amro bank in phases beginning later this year, seven years after the state took over the ailing bank amid the turmoil of the global financial crisis.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday the financial sector is stable enough, there is sufficient interest in the market and ABN Amro is ready for a phased sale.

The decision had been expected earlier this year but was delayed amid uproar over members of the bank's board awarding themselves a 100,000 euro ($110,000) pay rise to compensate for losing their right to bonuses when the bank was nationalized in 2008.

The bank scrapped the pay rise at the end of March, clearing the way for the re-privatization.