January 11, 2019 / 11:57 AM / 5 months ago

Spain's Ibercaja considers bringing forward IPO to early 2019 - source

MADRID, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Spanish bank Ibercaja is considering a public listing early this year, a source with knowledge of the process said on Friday, possibly bringing forward plans to float from 2020 although the exact timing would depend on market conditions.

“If in spring we’re facing a hard Brexit or if there is a delay on interest rates hikes (in Europe), we’ll have more windows of opportunity until the end of 2020,” the source said.

Spanish financial newspaper Expansion earlier reported that Ibercaja planned to list 40 percent of its capital and that the initial public offering (IPO) could be this spring.

Based on valuations of comparable banks, Bancaja could be valued at around 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) on the stock market, several sources have told Reuters.

Ibercaja Chairman Jose Luis Aguirre said in March that the plan was to go public at the end of 2020.

Former Spanish savings banks like Ibercaja are required by law to go public or raise money to cut stakes held by foundations under the terms of a Spanish bank bailout after the financial crisis.

A market slowdown and U.S.-China trade war fears scuppered planned IPOs including Spanish oil firm Cepsa, which postponed a listing in October, Tencent Music Entertainment and Portuguese holding company Sonae. ($1 = 0.8675 euros) (Reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez; Writing by Paul Day Editing by Ingrid Melander)

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