Santander has bought out ailing Spanish bank Banco Popular for one of the lowest-ever nominal sums of just €1.
Popular, which has suffered from overbearing expenses especially from its real estate business, saw its share price drop considerably over the past year.
Speaking to Bloomberg following the announcement, Santander chairman Ana Botin said the takeover was “great news for Europe.”
“This is a transaction that is very good for our franchise in Spain and Portugal. It creates the best bank in both markets.”
“This is really great news for Europe, for the financial system, for Spain, and for Santander’s shareholders.”
The international lender nonetheless saw its share price initially drop 3% as investors reacted warily to taking on Popular.
While the fallout from its collapse is not as great as that which greeted Italy following the bankruptcy of its oldest institution last year, the lure of a safe investment haven will no doubt be lingering in the minds of customers and investors.
Increasingly, this haven is being marked out as Bitcoin, with a surge of new users from throughout the world reported trading on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong this week reported a 400% increase in signups since January 2017.
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