Portuguese bank removes hurdle for takeover by Spanish rival

LISBON, Portugal (AP) " A general assembly of Banco Portugues do Investimento has approved changes to shareholder voting rights that clear the path for a 1.62 billion euro ($1.8 billion) takeover by Spain's Caixabank.

The Portuguese bank said the meeting Wednesday approved voting changes being sought by Caixabank.

Caixabank, S.A., the Portuguese bank's largest shareholder with 44 percent of its stock, is offering 1.113 euros a share. The share price closed at 1.091 Tuesday, with regulators suspending trading for the general assembly.

The Spanish bank said in April its bid had three conditions: scrapping limits on shareholders' voting rights, obtaining more than 50 percent of Banco BPI S.A.'s stock, and securing regulatory authorization.

European supervisors are keen to strengthen the continent's financial industry and are encouraging consolidation in the Iberian banking sector.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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