Santander says may issue more "CoCo" bonds this year

PARIS, March 13 Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:49am EDT

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PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) - Spanish bank Santander may sell more bonds this year that can convert into equity if it hits trouble, in order to meet long-term plans aimed at strengthening banks' balance sheets, its finance director said on Thursday.

Chief Financial Officer Jose Antonio Alvarez said the bank aims to sell 6 billion euros more additional Tier 1 bonds over the next few years, after selling 1.5 billion euros of the bonds this month.

"We will look at the market, in the next 3 or 4 years we need to issue 7.5 billion, so one or two sales per year is possible," Alvarez told journalists on the sidelines of a banking conference in Paris.

AT1 bonds, dubbed "CoCos" or contingent convertible capital, either convert into shares or are wiped out if a bank's capital falls below a set level. (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Steve Slater)

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