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Banking regulators OK Oriental’s BBVA Puerto Rico buyout

Oriental has gotten the go-ahead to take over BBVA’s Puerto Rico operations.

Oriental Financial Group Inc. announced today it has received all regulatory approvals necessary to close its previously announced $500 million acquisition of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.’s Puerto Rico operations.

The acquisition has received approvals from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

“We are pleased to move forward with the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year,” said José Rafael Fernández, President, CEO and vice chairman of the bank’s Board.

Once the deal closes, Oriental will be the second largest bank in Puerto Rico in terms of branches and core deposit funding, and the third largest in terms of assets. The resulting loan portfolio will be approximately a third each in commercial loans, residential mortgages, and consumer loans and leases, while the resulting securities portfolio will represent less than 40 percent of total earning assets.

Industry analysts have said the deal will “immediately transform” Oriental’s day-to-day operations into a more bank-like institution, something management has been striving for in recent years.

The approval comes about six months after Oriental made public its intensions to expand its local footprint through the acquisition.

This is the second local banking institution that Oriental takes over in as many years. In 2010, it successfully purchased and integrated Eurobank’s assets and liabilities in Puerto Rico from the FDIC.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Alfonso December 3, 2012

    Soon enough there will be a banking monopoly if Popular takes Oriental!


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