MADRID, May 11 (Reuters) - Spain's Banco Popular has hired JPMorgan and Lazard to advise it on exploring a sale of the bank, El Confidencial newspaper reported on Thursday, citing financial sources.
Popular is still straining to clean up its balance sheet after a real estate crash in 2008 which tripped up Spain's banks and caused steep losses for many.
The financial sector has largely recovered but Popular still has the biggest exposure to property assets among Spain's main listed banks.
It recently shook up its management, bringing in new Chairman Emilio Saracho, a former executive at JPMorgan, to lead a fresh bid to draw a line under the crisis.
Saracho has already said Popular could look at another capital hike after raising 2.5 billion euros last year and would consider a merger deal.
El Confidencial said Saracho had decided to hire the two advisors last week.
Popular, Lazard and JP Morgan declined to comment.
Reporting by Jesus Aguado, Writing by Sarah White; editing by Susan Thomas