Spain will not sell CatalunyaBanc “on the cheap,” minister says

Public tender for sale of bank aborted due to lack of competitive offers

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Tuesday justified the decision to abort an auction to sell off nationalized lender CatalunyaBanc on the need for the state to extract value from the deal.

The Orderly Bank Restructuring Fund (FROB) on Monday declared a public tender for the sale of the bank void due to an absence of competitive offers. The FROB has injected 9.080 billion euros from funds Spain received from its European partners.

“CatalunyaBanc is an extremely solvent bank after the injection of capital that has been injected in it, and has a great deal of liquidity,” De Guindos told reporters in Brussels where he was attending a meeting of European finance and economy ministers. “Logically the position of the FROB is that you cannot sell such institutions on the cheap.”

De Guindos said he was convinced that in the next few quarters, CatalunyBanc’s value will be recognized. “It has enormous value and we are going to maximize that value.”

Under the terms of the European bailout, the state has until the end of 2015 to start selling the bank, an operation that needs to be completed in 2016.

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