BBVA Chairman Sees Spain Seeking Precautionary Credit Line

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) Chairman Francisco Gonzalez said Spain won’t need a full bailout, and it’s more “realistic” to think it will seek a precautionary credit line.

“No way are we talking about a bailout,” Gonzalez said in response to a question at a conference in Madrid today. “We won’t see in Spain a bailout like in Greece or Portugal. It’s more realistic to talk of a precautionary credit line” from the euro-area rescue fund for countries in financial difficulty.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said since Aug. 3 he will consider whether to seek an external aid package that would allow the European Central Bank to buy the nation’s bonds. While the government hasn’t said publicly which type of help it is considering, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria twice this week set out the arguments for ECB bond buying.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview on Sept. 13 Spain would be “daft” to seek a full international bailout. A precautionary program would be enough to allow the ECB to start buying bonds, President Mario Draghi said on Sept. 6.

Gonzalez, head of Spain’s second-biggest bank, said the ECB’s “firm” support marked the “beginning of the end of the crisis.”

He estimated the results of a stress test by consulting firm Oliver Wyman of Spain’s financial system would reveal capital needs of 70 billion euros ($91 billion) to 80 billion euros, including 19 billion euros already injected in the system. The results, the second phase of a test whose preliminary results in July showed banks may need as much as 62 billion euros, will be published on Sept. 28.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Smyth in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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