Spain's BBVA buys additional 21.7% stake in Neon Payments for $300 million

BBVA bank branch in Madrid
A woman walks past a BBVA bank branch in Madrid, Spain, November 15, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina

MADRID, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Spain's BBVA (BBVA.MC) on Monday said it agreed to buy an additional 21.7% stake in Neon Payments for around $300 million after taking part in a share capital increase.

After completing the subscription, BBVA will hold direct and indirectly around 29.7% of Neon Payments, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom and owns 100% in the Brazilian company Neon Pagamentos.

The bank, which already indirectly owned a 10.2% stake in the Neon, expects to carry out the operation later this month.

Like banks across Europe, Spanish lenders have turned to other sources of profitable lending, such as payments, in a bid to lift earnings as rock-bottom interest rates squeeze financial margins.

BBVA's transaction is part of its digital strategy to boost growth through new ventures.

The subscription of the shares will hit its fully loaded common equity tier-1 fully by around 10 basis points.

Reporting by Jesús Aguado, editing by Inti Landauro

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