BBVA to buy Spain's nationalised Catalunya Banc - sources

MADRID, July 21 Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:54pm EDT

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MADRID, July 21 (Reuters) - Spain will sell nationalised Catalunya Banc, one of the largest lenders still in state hands after the financial crisis, to BBVA, two sources with knowledge of the deal said on Monday.

The government had failed twice to offload the bank in previous auctions, even after granting the Barcelona-based lender 12 billion euros ($16.23 billion) in aid to rebuild its capital and cleansing it of its soured real estate loans.

This time, Catalunya Banc, one of several banks rescued in the aftermath of a property market collapse, was slimmed down further before the disposal and it sold off various units first.

BBVA and Catalunya Banc declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal, which reported the sale earlier, said BBVA had offered slightly less than 1 billion euros for the bank.

($1 = 0.7395 Euros) (Reporting by Jesus Aguado, Writing by Sarah White, Editing by Julien Toyer and David Evans)

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