May 16, 2017 / 1:26 PM / 4 months ago

Spain's Economy Minister says Bankia is looking at Popular merger

MADRID, May 16 (Reuters) - Spain’s economy minister on Tuesday said state-owned Bankia was analyzing a potential merger with Banco Popular, along with other banks that had also shown interest in the troubled lender.

“Bankia is an important entity, which is very healthy, has a lot of capital and a good management team. My information is that it is analyzing Banco Popular’s situation, like the others,” Luis de Guindos told reports at an event in Barcelona.

Guindos said the Spanish banking sector was sound and that any decision from Banco Popular regarding a merger would be up to its management and shareholders.

Banco Popular said earlier several groups had shown interest in a potential merger, one of several options it is considering as its new management struggles to clean up billions of euros in toxic assets.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado; Editing by Angus Berwick

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