MADRID, Sept 16 Spain's Banco Popular
is considering floating a real estate unit with around 6 billion
euros ($6.74 billion) in toxic assets, newspaper El Pais
reported on Friday.
The listing would be part of a plan to reduce its exposure
to property assets by 15 billion euros by 2018 outlined in a
strategic plan announced in May.
El Pais reported that the bank wants to set up this new unit
this year but gave no further details about the timing of the
The bank was not available for immediate comment.
The bank is making a major push to sell off real estate
assets, including repossessed homes, which are clogging up its
balance sheet and eating into earnings.
Popular fired its chief executive in July and announced a
cost-cutting plan, a month after raising 2.5 billion euros in a
Eight years after Spain's property market boom collapsed
Popular is still the lender with the biggest exposure to problem
loans among the country's publicly listed banks.
It came out with the worst results among Spanish lenders in
the latest European Union financial sector stress tests.
Several reports in recent weeks have suggested Popular could
cut up to 3,000 jobs, or around 20 percent of its workforce.
(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Jason Neely)