Banco Popular “on the brink”

Ailing Spanish Banco Popular has already weathered a “black week” in which it lost “more than 40% of its value on the stock exchange” – and things are ‘looking worse’.

Says Dinheiro Vivo, the bank closed business on Monday at a new ‘historic low’ (shares sliding by another 18.16%) and it’s now just a question of who will snap it up for a song – Popular no more. Bets favour Santander, but, according to DV, there is still no “official proposal” by any of the potential buyers, which include BBVA, Bankia, Sabadell and CaixaBank.

Banco Popular has €37 billion in “toxic property” on its books, adds the financial website, stressing that the need for an external buyer came after the Spanish government refused to bail out the institution with taxpayers’ money.

Popular’s CEO Emilio Saracho is reported to be on his way to Brussels today (Tuesday), in a bid to get extra loan covering to weather the bank through this latest crisis, while DV warns that Portuguese clients with over €100,000 deposited at branches of Popular that remain open in this country could end up paying for a share of the bank’s (eventual) recovery.

Whether there really are Portuguese clients with this kind of money invested in the bank that has been going from bad to worse for so long is not explained.

Late last year, the bank revealed it was cutting down on the number of branches in this country and reducing staff. Thus, the writing has been on the wall.

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