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Green light from shareholders for Unicaja to join the stock exchange

Unicaja board members present to shareholders on Wednesday. :: sur
Unicaja board members present to shareholders on Wednesday. :: sur
  • The company, which saw profits of 142 million euros in 2016, will add 625 million euros to its share capital but no date is set for the launch yet

Unicaja Bank has received permission from its shareholders to become a publicly-listed company on the Spanish stock exchange.

The Malaga-based former savings bank is now one of Spain’s biggest financial institutions following mergers and is 86.7 per cent owned by the Fundación Bancaria Unicaja - a legacy of when it was a non-profit-making society.

Last week this holding foundation approved the move to sell shares publicly in the company for the first time and so it was a mere formality at the annual general meeting of the group on Wednesday to vote on giving a final green light. In the end, the board secured 100 per cent of shareholders’ votes to carry out their plan.

Unicaja Bank will now make plans for a public listing with 625 million euros of new, one-euro shares, which will be aimed at national and international institutional investors.

The company will become the first Malaga-based organisation to secure a stock exchange listing. Although no date for the launch has been set yet, it is felt that, as the stock market is strong, it will be sooner rather than later. The board has one year to make its move and has the option to increase the amount of shares available by 10 per cent if it sees sufficient demand. The offer price has not been discussed at this stage.

The move will see the group’s share capital increase to 1.55 billion euros, and the ‘Fundación Bancaria’ will continue to hold 51.7 per cent of the shares.

The meeting also discussed the annual accounts and announced profits in 2016 of 142.1 million euros, a return on equity (ROE) of 4.9 per cent.