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Spain Offers Tax Breaks to Attract Investors to its Bad Bank

Spain’s government approved tax incentives to attract investors to the bad bank it’s creating to comply with the conditions of its 100 billion-euro ($128 billion) European bank bailout.

The decree allows the bad bank, known as Sareb, to transfer assets to funds that will be set up according to asset type, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said. The funds will target institutional investors and will be taxed similarly to collective investment vehicles, or Sicavs, which pay 1 percent.

“The obligation for the state to succeed in selling assets has made it necessary to give funds a fiscal incentive,” de Guindos told reporters today after the weekly Cabinet meeting in Madrid.

Spain is trying to attract investors to buy the assets of the bad bank while also seeking private shareholders for the institution to limit the cost to tax payers. The bad bank, which is set to come into effect on Dec. 1, plans to buy about 62 billion euros of assets from rescued lenders, including loans to real-estate developers and foreclosed properties.

Transfers from the bad bank to the funds and operations by both will be also exempt from transaction taxes, de Guindos said.

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