By Jesús Aguado
MADRID, April 4 (Reuters) - Banco Popular, considered Spain’s weakest bank due to its exposure to toxic real estate assets, will revise its 2016 results to book additional losses of around 240 million euros ($256 million), a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Banco Popular had said on Monday that an internal audit had found that the bank would need to revise its 2016 results, but it did not give any details.
It is another setback for the bank, which is struggling to clean up its balance sheet and announced on Monday it would replace CEO Pedro Larena in the third leadership shake-up since July when the previous CEO Francisco Gomez was fired.
The new losses will come on top of the record 3.5 billion euro loss Popular originally reported for 2016 and will have a negative impact of around 0.5 percentage points on the bank’s capital adequacy levels, the source said.
A spokesman for Banco Popular declined to comment.
Popular’s non-performing property loan book amounted to almost 36 billion euros as of the end of December and has cast doubt over its financial targets. Bankers and analysts say this could mark the bank out for a potential takeover
Shares in Popular were down 0.7 percent by 1400 GMT. They have been the worst performer on the European STOXX Europe 600 banking sector index in the last six months and have lost close to 60 percent over the past year.
A second source with knowledge of the matter said that Ignacio Sanchez-Asiain, currently a board member at Galician lender Abanca, was one of the candidates being considered as Banco Popular’s new CEO.
“He is one of the candidates but he is not the only one and the process is still open,” the source said. The Banco Popular spokesman declined to comment.
Last December, Popular also replaced former Chairman Angel Ron with Emilio Saracho, a former JP Morgan Chase vice-chairman.
$1 = 0.9384 euros Additional reporting by Carlos Ruano; Editing by Angus Berwick and Susan Fenton