Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santander Bank of Spain duped for $4 billion by Madoff

MADRID, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Spanish investors could have up to 3 billion euros ($3.98 billion) of exposure to funds managed by Wall Street trader Bernard Madoff, accused of masterminding a fraud of up to $50 billion, Expansion said on Saturday.

'The first estimates suggest both groups (large fortunes and Spanish funds) could have invested more than 3 billion euros in vehicles managed by Madoff,' the financial daily said without naming its sources.

Investors in hedge fund Optimal, run by Spain's largest bank Santander, Santander's private banking subsidiary Banif, M&B Advisers Gestion (M&B Capital Advisers) and Spain's second largest bank BBVA were among those affected, the same sources told the paper...

A spokesman for Santander declined to comment on whether it had exposure.

Santander's Optimal has commercialised more than $3 billion dollars of Madoff funds, the newspaper ABC said, citing data from Bloomberg.

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