Banco Popular covers half of rights issue so far - source

MADRID Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:12am EST

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MADRID Nov 21 (Reuters) - Spanish lender Banco Popular has covered half of a 2.5 billion euro ($3.2 billion) rights issue as of the fifth day of subscription, a market source said on Wednesday.

Popular, burdened by soured property assets, is trying to raise funds to avoid the need for state aid after an independent audit of Spanish banks found it would need extra capital to weather a serious economic downturn.

The subscription period for the rights issue runs from Nov. 14-28, with the new shares set to begin trading on Dec. 6. ($1 = 0.7811 euro) (Reporting By Feliciano Tisera; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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