Expatica news

Another Spanish bank buys abroad

21 September 2004

MADRID – Spain’s banking giant BBVA said Tuesday it was buying Texan bank Laredo National Bancshares for EUR 694.6 million.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), the second-biggest Spanish bank, said the LNB acquisition was the cornerstone of its US strategy.

“It is a key sector in our strategy and a way to reinforce our position in the United States,” said Vitalino Nafria, director of BBVA America.

Nafria said it was the largest transaction the bank had undertaken in the US.

“We are counting on our experience in Mexico to solidify our position on the Spanish-speaking market,” he said.

BBVA is the leading foreign bank in Mexico through its subsidiary BBVA Bancomer.

Just last week BBVA Bancomer announced it was buying Hipotecaria Nacional, Mexico’s leading mortgage lender, for USD 376 million.

The deal is likely to be seen as further evidence that Spanish banks are giving themselves an increasingly high profile in foreign markets.

The biggest Spanish bank Santander Central Hispano has launched an aggressive march into the British market with a bid for mortgage lender Abbey National.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news