Four Spanish savings banks plan to form the nation’s fifth-largest financial group with more than 135 billion euros ($168 billion) in assets as regulators push weak lenders to merge with stronger partners.
Spain’s plan to offer cash-strapped regional administrations emergency loans leaves the Treasury with 12 billion euros ($15 billion) of additional funding needs that the government says won’t affect its borrowing plans.
Spain’s public-sector strike received the backing of 12 percent of workers, the government said, strengthening Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ’s hand as he seeks to tackle the euro-area’s third-largest deficit.
Four Spanish savings banks with more than 135 billion euros ($167 billion) in assets said they plan to combine, as regulators struggle to shore up the country’s financial system and revive economic growth.
Grupo Ezentis is a Spanish engineering company that builds and runs phone and power-cable networks in Spain and Latin America. “About two-thirds of the company’s revenue comes from Latin America, and it keeps on growing,” said Chairman Manuel Garcia-Duran. Without Latin America, Ezentis would be trapped inside the moribund Spanish market, where it’s losing money.