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Santander to sign deal for bank takeover

Latest update : 2009-05-23

Venezuela is about to sign a deal with Spanish group Santander to buy its local banking unit, the Bank of Venezuela, a nationalization that aims at consolidating the public banking system, according to President Hugo Chavez.

AFP - Spain's Santander bank said Friday it had reached an agreement in principle to sell its Bank of Venezuela affiliate to the Caracas government for 1.050 billion dollars (1.473 billion dollars).

The two sides hope to sign the contract in July 2009, Spain's largest bank said in a statement.

Venezuela reached a deal in April with Santander to buy the Bank of Venezuela, nine months after the Spanish bank said it wanted to divest itself of its Venezuelan assets.

Santander purchased Bank of Venezuela in 1996 at a public auction for 351.5 million dollars.

The Venezuelan entity currently has estimated assets of 1.92 billion bolivars (891.4 million dollars).

Venezuelan Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said last week that the nationalization of the Bank of Venezuela would stimulate the country's economy.

Date created : 2009-05-22