The Real Deal Miami

Takeovers could leave fewer than 10 Spanish banks

More mergers and acquisitions may loom in Spain, where the bank population was 55 in 2008

July 19, 2015 09:30AM

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Likely takeover targets include Banco Popular.

Likely takeover targets include Banco Popular.

A fresh wave of mergers and acquisitions could further consolidate the banking industry in Spain, where the number of banks has fallen to 14 from 55 since the financial crisis of 2008. A new round of bank takeovers could drop the number of banks in Spain below 10, making the degree of banking industry concentration comparable to that of France and Britain.
Further consolidation also would trim the sprawling networks of retail bank offices in Spain, where the number of bank branches per capita was the highest in Europe in 2013, according to the Bank of Spain.
The New York Times also reported that probable takeover targets are banks below the top tier of the industry.
The two largest banks in Spain, BBVA and Santander, emerged unhurt from the economic crisis in Spain, and one reason is the international scope of their businesses.
Possible takeover targets include former Spanish savings banks BMN, Ibercaja and Liberbank.
Also vulnerable to takeover is Banco Popular. It is the sixth-largest Spanish bank by deposits in domestic accounts, but Popular has extensive exposure to real estate loans in default.
Popular has expanded abroad to diversify its geographic risk by making small acquisitions in the United States; additional acquisitions are anticipated in Portugal or Mexico. Popular acquired Miami-based Totalbank in 2007. [New York Times] Mike Seemuth