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BBVA and Santander persuaded to aquire CAM Bank

Thu 7th Apr 2011

Regulators of the Spanish banking sector are trying to persuade Banco Santander SA, amongst others, into taking part in the cleanup of the country's finances by bidding for the troubled CAM bank, who was excluded from a merger deal at the eleventh hour last week.

CAM - Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo - approached both Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) over the last few days in an attempt to sell itself. Representatives from the Bank of Spain have also been working closely with all parties to try and help them find agreement.

Central Bank officials have held informal talks with some of Spain's largest banks regarding any potential inteterest that they may have in the savings bank. In recent meetings with certain interested parties, they discussed scenarios in which all or part of the Alicante-based savings bank, which has 77 billion in assets, could be sold.

The Governor of the Bank of Spain, Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, spoke earlier in the week to say that, three years into Spain's economic crisis, the worst could still be to come for the country's ailing banks as they struggle with falling profits and rising levels of bad debt.

"2011 will be another year of adjustment, and for the banking sector, it will be one of the worst," Ordonez said at a conference.

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