Unicaja to pay increased dividend as its Liberbank merger draws near

File photo of the Unicaja president, Manuel Azuaga.
File photo of the Unicaja president, Manuel Azuaga. / SUR
  • The Malaga-based group earned 153 million euros last year, an increase of over 10% on 2017

Unicaja Banco has announced that it will share out 63 million euros with shareholders, the most since it went public in 2017. The amount is equivalent to half its 2018 profits, which were up 10.2 per cent year-on-year.

The Malaga-based company, which is Spain's seventh biggest banking group, announced its results for last year on Monday and highlighted the strength of its balance sheet and solvency levels.

The dividend per share will be 3.8 euro-cents, up from 2.1 euro-cents in 2017.

This may have been the last time Unicaja Banco, under head Manuel Azuaga, presents its results in its current form. The company is in talks to absorb Liberbank, the eleventh largest bank in Spain. Liberbank has its main operations in northern Spain and Extremadura, so there is a good synergy with Unicaja's mostly Andalusian operation.

The new group combining the two companies would be the sixth biggest in Spain and the head office would be in Malaga.