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Spain's Santander has $3 Billion in High-Risk U.S. Loans: Report

Santander has 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) of exposure to high-risk loans in the United States through its auto financing business Drive, ABC newspaper said on Tuesday, quoting the Spanish
bank's annual report.

Santander has always said Drive's loans are high-risk but high-reward and that it is totally provisioned against losses there.

ABC quoted Santander's annual report as saying Drive's total loan book was worth 2.2 billion euros, 5.3% of Santander's consumer credit business. It did not say how much of Drive's credit was high-risk.

Santander agreed to buy 90% of Drive for $651 million last September and said it would add 1.5% percent to 2007 group earnings per share.

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