CaixaBank to become Spain's largest bank by assets

CaixaBank to become Spain's largest bank by assetsBarcelona, March 27 - CaixaBank said Monday that it plans to purchase Banca Civica for nearly 1 billion euros ($1.33 billion) in a transaction that will leave the buyer as Spain's largest financial institution by assets.

The two entities have total combined assets of 342.62 billion euros ($457.13 billion), the purchaser said in a statement.

CaixaBank, currently No. 3 among Spanish banks, earlier acquired Caixa Girona and Bankpyme amid the ongoing major consolidation of Spain's financial sector.

This latest merger will not involve any public money and is expected to begin generating cost savings in 2014, according to CaixaBank, which also said it plans to return the 977 million euros ($1.3 billion) it received from the Spanish government's FROB bank restructuring fund.

The transaction will be carried out through a share swap.

CaixaBank emerged last year as part of the restructuring of Spain's unlisted savings banks, or cajas, which are linked to the regional governments and were battered by the collapse of the country's real estate market.

La Caixa, the largest of the cajas, created CaixaBank to list its retail banking business. (IANS)

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