Santander shares slide as it plans to absorb 2 Spanish banks

<p>Santander’s share price has fallen as the bank plans to absorb two Spanish banks.</p>

Santander's shares have slipped in market trading in Europe today (December 17th) on news the financial institution is planning to absorb two Spanish banks, closing some 700 branches as a result of this acquisition.

The organisation already owns 90 per cent of Banesto and it will buy out the minority shareholders with Santander shares at a 25 per cent premium, while it already owns all of Banif – the other bank set for absorption.

Combined, all three organisations have more than 4,600 branches in Spain, with the remaining branches becoming Santander outlets after the deal is complete.

Santander predicts that the merger – which forms part of the massive restructuring of Spain's beleaguered financial sector – will save it €520 million (£422 million) a year in three years' time.

At 16:20 GM, Banco Santander shares were down by 0.2 per cent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, slipping to €5.84 per unit.

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