Spain's Santander mulls listing British operations: report
Santander, Spain's biggest bank, hopes to list its British operations on the London Stock Exchange in a move that could raise three billion pounds, a report said Thursday.
The group would like to float 20 percent of Santander UK, a subsidiary formed by bringing together its British acquisitions -- Abbey, Alliance and Leicester and parts of Bradford and Bingley, said the Financial Times.
The transaction, which could bring in the equivalent of 4.5 billion dollars or 3.5 billion euros, would go ahead if market conditions were favourable, added the report, citing people close to Santander.
It may take place in the next few months, said the report.
But if the economy and stock market did not show signs of a stable recovery, it is unlikely the bank would proceed, according to the FT.
Santander needs the extra money to fund a recent spending spree as well as future expansion plans, said the paper.
Last week, Swedish bank SEB said it had signed an agreement to sell its German retail banking business to Santander for 555 million euros, which includes 173 branches with about one million customers.
And the Spanish bank has also made an offer to buy about 300 Royal Bank of Scotland branches in Britain, reportedly for 1.8 billion pounds.
This would add to the 1,300 branches Santander already has in Britain after its earlier takeovers here.
© 2010 AFP