LONDON Dec 7 Britain's Barclays will
invest in Spain's so-called 'bad bank' as a signal of its
commitment to helping fix the country's banking troubles, a
person familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Spain has set up the bad bank, known as SAREB, to take toxic
property assets from banks' balance sheets so they can lend more
to individuals and businesses. Its creation was a condition for
Spain to get money from Europe to clean up its financial sector
after a 2008 property crash.
The country is looking for private sector investors to stump
up 2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) by the end of December to
ease the burden on state coffers.
The source did not disclose how much Barclays was likely to
put in. Barclays is one of the biggest overseas banks in the
country, with 430 branches, though it has been shrinking there
after suffering hefty losses on loans.
Spanish banks Santander and Sabadell and
insurers Mapfre and Mutua Madrilena have said they will
invest in the bad bank, and French insurer AXA said it
was in talks to invest.