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Mexican Investors Become Liberbank Shareholders in Offer

A sale of shares in Liberbank SA raised 317 million euros ($434 million) as Mexican investors joined in the first stage of a stock offering aimed at boosting the Spanish lender’s capital and repaying state aid.

Investors bought 372.7 million shares, including 117.6 million newly issued shares, priced at 85 euro cents apiece, the Madrid-based bank said in a filing today. The stock rose as much as 3.5 percent today from yesterday’s close of 86 euro cents.

Liberbank said yesterday that investors, including the Mexican firms Inmosan and Davinci Capital and Spain’s Corporacion Masaveu, pledged to buy 174 million euros of shares in the first part of its two-stage plan to raise as much as 575 million euros. Liberbank, which took 124 million euros of aid under Spain’s European banking bailout in 2012, is the latest Spanish lender after Banco Sabadell SA and Banco Popular Espanol SA to tap Latin American investors for capital as they prepare for European bank stress tests.

Liberbank says the share sales will enable it raise its capital ratio under the “fully loaded” Basel III rules to more than 10 percent. At the same time, its three founding savings banks will be able to reduce their stake in the lender to below 50 percent to comply with new financial industry regulations.

The shares that weren’t newly issued were sold by the founding savings banks, Caja de Asturias, Caja de Extremadura and Caja Cantabria.

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