Spain's Popular to issue up to 6.25 bln shares in capital hike

MADRID, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Spain's Banco Popular , will issue up to 6.25 billion shares to raise capital after failing a stress test, the bank said in a stock market filing on Monday, implying a discount of 73 percent if it issues the maximum number of shares.

Popular, the country's sixth-largest lender by assets, said last week it hoped to raise 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) through the share issue and avoid tapping a 100 billion euro rescue offered by the euro zone for Spain's ailing financial sector.

The bank said on Monday it would hold a special shareholders' meeting in Madrid on Nov. 10 to discuss the share issue plan.

Popular has just over 2 billion shares in circulation and closed at 1.47 euros on Monday. If it does issue the maximum 6.25 billion shares to raise 2.5 billion euros, this would imply a 73 percent discount on the share price.

A spokesman for Popular said the discount was not fixed and will depend on demand from the investment banks involved in the capital hike.

Deutsche Bank and Santander are co-leaders in the share issue.

Popular's Chief Financial Officer Jacobo Gonzalez-Robatto said last week that the discount on the bank's shares could be up to 50 percent. ($1 = 0.7711 euros)

(Reporting by Jesus Aguado, Writing by Clare Kane)

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