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25 European banks set to fail health checks - sources

A group of 25 banks have failed European health checks, while up to 10 of those continue to have a capital shortfall, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, providing a snapshot of the health of the region's lenders.

The health checks, led by the European Central Bank, found that banks in countries including Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Portugal had fallen short of a minimum capital benchmark at the end of last year and that up to 10 remained in difficulty now, the sources said.

Read More What's missing from the EU bank stress tests

Banks in Spain and France had fared, by and large, better than expected.

The result, which has yet to be finalised by the ECB's governing council on Sunday, provides the most complete picture yet of the robustness of the euro zone's top 130 lenders.

Those banks with shortfalls will now have two weeks to submit a plan to bolster their capital to the European Central Bank (ECB), which will decide whether or not it gets the green light.

A spokesman for the ECB said the test results had not yet been finalised, describing reports in the meantime as speculative.

"The results will not be final until they are considered by the Governing Council of the European Central Bank on Sunday 26 October, after which they will be published," he said.

European banking shares dipped briefly on Friday after Bloomberg News reported that 25 banks within the euro zone would fail the ECB "stress test".

Portugal's finance minister Maria Luis Albuquerque said on Friday that the Lisbon government was confident that the country's three largest banks had fared well in the stress tests.

Read MoreEuropean bank stress tests: Your guide

Bear and bull statues are pictured in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes | Getty Images
Bear and bull statues are pictured in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Austrian finance minister Hans Joerg Schelling, said only Volksbanken AG was "stress burdened" and the test revealed no surprises, according to the Austria Press Agency. Volksbanken had already said it would wind itself down.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank passed the ECB-led stress test by a wide margin with a core equity ratio of 8.8 percent compared to a minimum requirement of 5.5 percent, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Juergen Fitschen, co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank and president of the BdB association of German private-sector banks, said the results probably gave his country's banks a clean bill of health.

Shares in the Italian banks considered most at risk of failing the euro zone health checks, including bailed out lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena were sharply higher on Friday as investors counted on them doing better than expected.

"Investors are betting that one of the most problematic banks in the euro zone could pass the stress tests with fewer problems than previously thought," said Vincenzo Longo, strategist at broker house IG.

CNBC will be broadcasting live from London and Frankfurt from 12:00 CET this Sunday as the results of the European bank stress tests are announced. You can also follow the latest news and analysis on our Live Blog.


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