Santander says UK unit to list in second quarter of 2011

3rd February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's biggest bank Banco Santander said Thursday it plans to list its British subsidiary Santander UK on the stock market in the second quarter of this year.

"I can confirm our goal to make a market listing in the second quarter," chief executive Alfredo Saenz told a news conference after the bank released its results for 2010.

He declined to give further details.

Media have speculated about a possible Santander UK listing for months.

Ana Patricia Botin, daughter of Santander executive chairman Emilio Botin, took over the British unit in November after her predecessor Antonio Horta-Osorio left to run Lloyds Banking Group.

The Spanish bank took advantage of a crisis in the British financial sector to expand its activities there.

After buying Abbey in 2004, it took control over the retail networks of Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

In addition, Santander is in the process of buying the 318 British branches of Royal Bank of Scotland, which would bring its total number of branches in Britain to 1,600.

Britain accounted for 18 percent of Banco Santander's net profit in 2010, more than Spain. Net profit in Britain rose 11 percent in pounds and 15 percent in euros in 2010, even as globally net profit dropped 8.5 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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