Santander says Basel III core capital to be 12 percent at year-end

MADRID Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:29am EDT

A man uses an ATM machine at a Santander bank branch in Madrid April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Susana Vera

A man uses an ATM machine at a Santander bank branch in Madrid April 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - Santander, the euro zone's biggest lender, on Thursday said its core capital under Basel III rules would reach 12 percent at the end of the year.

The bank, which posted a 25.9 percent drop in net profit from a year ago to 1.205 billion euros ($1.6 billion), also said it had already returned 31 billion euros of cheap European Central Bank loans, out of an estimated 35 billion euros it took.

(Reporting by Sarah White, editing by Julien Toyer)