Shares in CaixaBank (CABK) SA rose after Spain’s third-biggest bank replaced its chief executive officer with its finance chief.
Shares in Barcelona-based CaixaBank rose as much as 1.7 percent in Madrid trading today and were up 1 percent to 4.55 euros at 11:55 a.m., extending gains this year to 20 percent.
CaixaBank said yesterday that CEO Juan Maria Nin, 61, who joined the banking group in 2007 and was deputy chairman, had stepped down by “mutual consent” to be replaced by Gonzalo Gortazar, its chief financial officer. N+1, a Spanish investment bank, said in a research note to clients today that it had a “good opinion” of Gortazar, who helped Nin build up CaixaBank’s capital and clean up its balance sheet.
“We are aware that Mr. Gortazar lacks experience in retail banking but he has already built himself a track record reflected in the much-improved financial discipline of CaixaBank and we think he is already well-respected by the investor community,” said N+1, which has a strong buy recommendation on the lender.
“Gortazar is a good manager, prudent and he knows very well the insides of the bank,” Jose Ramon Iturriaga, a fund manager at Abante Asesores SA in Madrid, who holds CaixaBank shares, said by phone.
From 1993 to 2009, Gortazar, 48, worked at Morgan Stanley in London and Madrid where he held various posts in investment banking. From 2009 to 2011 he was CEO of Criteria, the Caixa group’s investment holding company.
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