May 21, 2019 / 4:08 PM / 3 months ago

Spain's market regulator examines DIA tweet by Santander's Botin

FILE PHOTO: Banco Santander's chairwoman Ana Patricia Botin attends the annual results presentation at bank's headquarters in Boadilla del Monte, outside Madrid, Spain January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s market regulator is analysing comments on Twitter from Santander’s chairman Ana Botin about an agreement with Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman to rescue Spanish retailer DIA, a spokesman for the supervisor said.

While the market was open, Botin tweeted on Monday evening that Fridman had committed to work on changing a proposal for struggling DIA that she had said earlier was more generous to foreign bondholders than Spanish banks.

Santander is a major creditor of the supermarket chain, of which Fridman’s LetterOne (L1) fund took control last week.

One of the conditions in the takeover process was that lenders agreed to a re-financing deal by Monday, but the result of the negotiation had not been formally announced when the tweet was published.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the CNMV watchdog said it was “examining and analysing” Botin’s tweet but had not opened a formal investigation.

The tweet was published at 1720 CET, more than 1-1/2 hours before L1 officially announced that DIA had reached an 11th-hour agreement to secure financing, staving off the imminent risk of having to start insolvency proceedings.

Shares in DIA rose 3.4 percent after the tweet, to close at 0.6412 euros.

Santander declined to comment on Tuesday on the CNMV’s analysis.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado; editing by David Evans

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