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Spain's Banca Civica fails stress test, sets debt

Source: Reuters - Sat 24th Jul 2010

Banca Civica, one of five Spanish banks to fail Europe-wide stress tests, said it would place 450 million euros ($579 million) in convertible bonds, becoming the first savings bank to use a new law to access private capital.

Tests published on Friday revealed a 406 million euro shortfall for Banca Civica, born of a merger of three smaller savings banks, under the most extreme test scenario.

JC Flowers of the U.S., a buyout fund specializing in distressed banks, has already agreed to subscribe for the full amount of its bond issue, the caja said in a statement before the publication of the Europe-wide stress tests.

Earlier this month the government decreed new rules allowing unlisted savings banks, or cajas, to issue a form of share and making it easier for them to issue debt, allowing cash-strapped entities to access private capital.

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