News Summary: Spain's banks slash size by 60 pct

Associated Press

LIFELINE: European Union authorities approved the payment of €37 billion ($47.96 billion) in bailout loans to four of Spain's struggling banks — provided each of them cut their loans and investments by 60 percent.

THE NUMBERS: The plan cleared Wednesday by the EU Commission in Brussels will see Bankia getting €18 billion, Catalunya Caixa €9 billion, Novagalicia €5.5 billion and Valencia Bank €4.5 billion.

NEXT: Under the plan, the four banks must exit from lending to real estate development, limit their presence in wholesale business and concentrate on retail loans and those to small and medium-sized companies in their base regions.They will have to reduce their branch number by 50 percent. Catalunya Caixa and Novagalicia will have to be sold by 2017 or liquidated.

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