The chairman of one of Spain’s healthiest banks, the Basque lender Kutxabank, has delivered a significant blow to the government’s chances of persuading private investors to take a stake in the country’s bad bank.
Mario Fernandez, one of Spain’s most senior bankers, said it was “unthinkable” that private investors would take a stake in the short term, adding to the skepticism voiced last month by BBVA chairman Francisco Gonzalez.
The government hopes that private investors will own at least 55 percent of the entity created as a condition to access 100 billion euros ($130 billion) of European aid for the sector.
“It seems to me that in the short-term, and I hope I’m wrong, that to even think about private capital is an unrealistic assumption unless the price is rock-bottom,” Fernandez said in an interview with newspaper Cinco Dias.
“In that case, it’s possible that some investors would make a three or four-year bet, after getting a good bargain that would bring some profit.”