Spain's Caixabank sells its 9.4 percent stake in Repsol

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's Caixabank CABK.MC on Thursday said it would sell its 9.4 percent stake in Spanish oil major Repsol REP.MC and book a loss of 450 million euros in the third quarter.

Caixabank’s stake in Repsol has a market value of more than 2.5 billion euros.

Like other Spanish and European banks, Caixabank is trying to comply with harsher solvency requirements and regulators are demanding banks focus on their core banking business.

The lender, which first entered Repsol more than 20 years ago, said it expected the sale of its stake to have a neutral impact on its core tier-1 fully loaded capital ratio.

Following the transaction, the lender’s chairman Jordi Gual and its chief executive Gonzalo Gortázar will step down as board members of Repsol.

Caixabank said it would sell down its shareholding in Repsol through a disposal programme.

It would sell two existing equity swaps, equivalent to a 1.91 percent and a 2.7 percent stake in Repsol, at 15.39 euros per share and 15.55 euros per share, respectively, to be settled no later than end of September 2018.

The loss is partly related to the transaction with the equity swaps as Repsol’s current shares closed on Thursday, much higher, at 16.885 euros per share.

The remaining 4.75 percent stake in Repsol would be accounted for as “financial assets at fair value” and its sale would begin immediately and terminate no later than the end of the first quarter of 2019.

Caixabank reiterated it would reach a profitability target or return on tangible equity of between 9-11 pct in 2018.

Additional reporting by Andrés González; editing by Alexandra Hudson