MADRID Nov 22 Spain's largest bank, Santander
is looking at a sale of its car-financing business in
the United States via a stock market listing, according to a
report in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Santander in Spain declined to comment. A U.S.-based
spokeswoman for Santander was not immediately available to
Santander, which raised $4 billion in a U.S. listing of its
Mexican banking business in September, is planning an offering
for the first half of 2013, the report said.
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the business could be worth as
much as $6 billion although plans are still in the early stages.
Santander has been spinning off overseas businesses to help
shore up its capital against weakness in Spain from the
country's economic slump and high unemployment.
The bank has weathered Spain's property market crash and
sovereign debt crisis better than rivals because it makes less
than a fifth of its profit in the country after years of
expansion abroad into regions such as Latin America.
It has already listed its Brazilian and Chilean arms and its
Argentine and UK businesses are expected to follow.
Spain became the focal point of the euro zone debt crisis
earlier this year as it became clear its banks would need
financial support to rid their balance sheets of around 185
billion euros of toxic real estate assets.