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Santander buys back bonds to bolster balance sheet

Source: Reuters - Mon 24th Aug 2009

Santander has launched a buy back programme for securitised bonds worth some 16.5 billion euros ($23.6 billion) in nominal terms to boost its balance sheet, the Spanish bank said on Monday. The bonds were issued by units of Santander or funds it manages.

The buy back is aimed mostly at mortgage-backed securities and will be made at a discount of between 10 and 39 percent to the nominal price, the eurozone's biggest bank added in a statement.

"This buy back reopens the secondary market for this type of bond issues after a halt of nearly two years due to the property sector crisis" a source familiar with the operation said.

Bond holders have until Sept. 8 to decide whether or not to take up Santander's offer, although the bank said it reserved the right to alter the terms of the operation.

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