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EU okays Spain's CajaSur restructuring, bank sale

Source: Reuters - Mon 8th Nov 2010

Spanish savings bank CajaSur won European Union regulatory approval on Monday for its restructuring plan after it agreed to be wound down and to divest its banking activities.

The Bank of Spain took over the ailing lender in May. Like many of the country's other unlisted savings banks, 146-year-old CajaSur ran into financial trouble due to its heavy exposure to the country's property boom and bust.

Savings bank BBK SA agreed in July to acquire CajaSur's banking business. CajaSur will also repay a capital injection of 800 million euros ($1.12 billion) to government rescue fund FROB.

The European Commission said in a statement the measures were sufficient to address competition concerns.

"The Commission is satisfied that the restructuring of CajaSur and the sale of its banking business in an open and competitive tender ensures the viability of the banking activity and limits the distortions of competition" said Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. CajaSur had a 0.8 percent share of the Spanish banking market in mid-2010.

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