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Spain: Banco Popular says several groups interested in potential merger

 |  May 16, 2017

Several Spanish banks, including state-owned Bankia, have shown interest in a potential merger with Banco Popular, as its new management considers options for how to cope with billions of euros in toxic assets.

Popular’s new chairman Emilio Saracho, brought in in February, has said he would consider a merger as the solution to the bank’s 37 billion euros (USD 41 billion) of non-performing real estate assets, the highest among Spanish banks.

Spanish banks have already undergone huge consolidation since the country’s financial crisis, with just 14 left from 55 in 2008, but Popular remains the weak spot since it has been unable to sell off its assets fast enough.

Popular, Spain’s sixth largest bank, said on Tuesday that all groups had to declare preliminary interest in a merger by Tuesday evening. Any such declarations were not binding but were needed for it to analyze its options, it said in a statement.

Full Content: Financial Times

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