RBS share drop accelerates on stress test flop

Stressed. Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland have accelerated their losses this morning, falling over 4.5 per cent after the state-backed lender came in bottom of the heap in the Bank of England’s latest stress tests. RBS failed the toughest ever stress tests carried out by the BoE, with results this morning showing the lender’s […]

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Capital Markets, Financial

BGC Partners eyes new platform to trade US Treasuries

BGC Partners plans to launch a new platform to trade US Treasuries early next year, in a bid to return to a market in the middle of evolution, according to people familiar with the plans.  The company, spun out of Howard Lutnick’s Cantor Fitzgerald in 2004, sold eSpeed, the second-largest interdealer platform for trading Treasuries, […]

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Sales in Rocket Internet’s portfolio companies rise 30%

Revenues at Rocket Internet rose strongly at its portfolio companies in the first nine months of the year as the German tech group said it was making strides on the “path towards profitability”. Sales at its main companies increased 30.6 per cent to €1.58bn while losses narrowed. Rocket said the adjusted margin for earnings before […]

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Renminbi strengthens further despite gains by dollar

The renminbi on track for a fourth day of firming against the dollar on Wednesday after China’s central bank once again pushed the currency’s trading band (marginally) stronger. The onshore exchange rate (CNY) for the reniminbi was 0.28 per cent stronger at Rmb6.8855 in afternoon trade, bringing it 0.53 per cent firmer since it last […]

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Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

Forecasting markets a year in advance is never easy, but with “year-ahead investment themes” season well underway, Nomura has provided a handy reminder of quite how difficult it is, with an overview of markets’ biggest hits and misses (OK, mostly misses) from the start of 2016. The biggest miss among analysts, according to Nomura’s Sam […]

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Categorized | Banks

Banco BPI clears way for Caixabank deal

Posted on September 21, 2016

The new logo of CaixaBank is seen next to that of La Caixa on top of their headquarters in Barcelona June 30, 2011. CaixaBank, which is 81 percent-owned by Spain's second-biggest savings bank La Caixa, will float on July 1 and plans to grow its market share in Spain organically as well as through acquisitions, while also eyeing further overseas expansion. REUTERS/Albert Gea (SPAIN - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR2OAI2©Reuters

Portugal’s market regulator has told Spain’s Caixabank to launch a mandatory takeover bid for the 55 per cent of Banco BPI it does not already own, after shareholders in the Portuguese bank lifted the main obstacle to a deal.

More than 88 per cent of BPI investors on Wednesday voted to remove a voting rights cap on Caixabank’s 45 per cent stake in its Portuguese rival, which had stopped the Spanish bank from launching a full takeover offer.

    Caixabank, Spain’s biggest bank by domestic market share, is expected to fund the €880m transaction without resorting to a rights issue, according to a person briefed on its strategy. But if Caixabank’s bid is fully accepted, it would cut its core capital ratio to about 10.5 per cent — below its target of between 11 and 12 per cent.

    For some months, the future of BPI — which has a market capitalisation of €1.6bn — has been clouded in uncertainty by a dispute between Caixabank and Isobel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of Angola’s president, who owns 20 per cent of BPI.

    Ms dos Santos abstained in Wednesday’s vote, allowing the voting cap to be lifted, and she is now expected to sell her stake to Caixabank. To proceed with the deal, the Spanish bank will have to adjust its offer price to the latest six-month average, but that is unlikely to increase the cost significantly.

    Another key to unblocking the deal impasse was a proposal by BPI to sell 2 per cent of its Angolan operation, called BFA, to a company controlled by Ms dos Santos. That would cut BPI’s stake in BFA to less than 50 per cent and help the Portuguese bank comply with EU rules requiring it to reduce its exposure to Angola.

    A takeover of BPI would represent the latest step forward for Portugal’s undercapitalised banking sector, following an agreement last month between the Lisbon government and the EU over a €5bn recapitalisation package for state-owned Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the country’s largest lender.

    Portugal is still trying to sell Novo Banco — the “good bank” rescued from the wreckage of Banco Espírito Santo — after an earlier auction failed last year. Meanwhile, Millennium BCP, Portugal’s largest listed lender, is holding talks with Fosun about the possible acquisition of a 30 per cent stake by the Chinese group.