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Santander plans to sell stake in fund management arm

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Spanish banking group Santander has confirmed recent speculation that it intends to sell a stake in its fund management business.

Earlier this month, it was reported the bank was looking to sell the division, which has assets under management of £135bn across the UK, Spain and South America, to help it meet more stringent European capital requirements.

A statement released to the London Stock Exchange today says: “In response to recent press speculation, Banco Santander reports it is exploring the possibility of incorporating investors to its asset management division although no agreement has been reached yet for any such investment.”

The announcement did not disclose the identity of any potential investors in its fund manager business. Recent reports in the Sunday Times suggested the bank has held talks with a potential suitor from the private equity market.

The statement says: “Santander will inform the market as appropriate in case an agreement to implement such investment is reached.”

A previous attempt by Santander to sell its asset management and insurance arms was abandoned in 2008 because of adverse market conditions.

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