Popular Chairman Says Bank to Re-Examine Profit Forecasts

Banco Popular Espanol SA, a Spanish lender, is reviewing the profit forecasts it gave in October to back a 2.5 billion-euro ($3.3 billion) capital increase, Chairman Angel Ron said.

“We are re-examining them and when we have reached a conclusion we will communicate it in an opportune way,” Ron told reporters in Madrid today after the bank’s annual shareholders’ meeting, adding that economic forecasts for Spain had worsened. “Everything is re-examined as conditions evolve.”

Popular completed a share sale in November to help cover a capital shortfall uncovered in stress tests of Spanish banks and fund a clean-up of its balance sheet that produced a 2.46 billion-euro net loss for 2012. As part of a business plan announced to justify the capital increase, the bank said it was seeking profit of about 500 million euros this year and 1.4 billion euros in 2014.

Popular, Spain’s sixth biggest bank by assets, will decide in the second half of this year whether to restore the dividend it suspended in October, Ron told shareholders today.

The shares pared gains of as much as 2.1 percent and were up 0.3 percent to 62.8 euro-cents at 3:55 p.m. in Madrid trading. They have declined 93 percent since their peak in April 2007.