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UPDATE 2-Caixabank sells 1.3 bln euros of shares for BPI bid

(Adds share price, updates sale value, adds details)

MADRID, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Caixabank sold shares worth 1.32 billion euros ($1.48 billion) on Thursday in an accelerated share sale to boost its capital reserves for its takeover bid for Portugal’s Banco BPI

Spain’s third biggest lender made a formal bid on Wednesday to buy the 55 percent of BPI it does not yet own after the Portuguese bank scrapped a cap on voting rights, a measure that had hampered Caixabank’s previous purchase attempts.

The voting cap of 20 percent allowed BPI’s Angolan investor, Isabel dos Santos, to block the takeover, which would cost Caixabank about 900 million euros to buy all remaining shares according to its offer price.

Caixabank said on Thursday that the sale of its treasury stock, which is equivalent to 9.9 percent of its capital, would boost its core capital ratio under the strictest “fully-loaded” criteria to between 13.6 percent and 14.2 percent from 11.5 percent in June.

Caixabank and its parent Criteria Caixa were among the weakest links in Europe-wide stress tests in July, putting them under pressure to boost their solvency ratios.

The share sale price was 2.26 euros, Caixabank said, which was a 3.7 percent discount on its closing price on Thursday.

Caixabank said earlier on Thursday that two institutional investors had signalled interest in buying 380 million euros worth of the shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley underwrote the sale.

Caixabank’s takeover of BPI is a major step outside its core Spanish market where record low interest rates and fierce competition have weighed on its profitability. ($1 = 0.8926 euros) (Reporting by Angus Berwick; Editing by Julien Toyer, David Clarke and Chris Reese)

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