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BCP AND BPE TO LAUNCH NEW FRENCH BANK

 BCP AND BPE TO LAUNCH NEW FRENCH BANK
 NEW YORK, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Banco Popular Espanol, one of


Spain's leading banks and Banco Comercial Portugues, Portugal's leading private commercial bank and the country's largest commercial company have jointly announced that they will be setting up a new French registered banking joint venture, Banco Popular Comercial SA.
 The bank will be based in Paris and both partners will have a similar equity stake. The total assets of BPE in France are in excess of FF1bn.
 Banco Popular Comercial will specialize in providing a complete range of financial services to the Portuguese and Spanish communities in France and to French companies wishing to develop their business in the Iberian Peninsula as well as to Spanish and Portuguese companies operating in France.
 Banco Popular Comercial will include BPE's existing French network of 13 branches, six of which are based in the Paris area.
 The new bank will draw upon BPE's 20 years of experience in the French market and from BCP's presence there with NovaRede since 1990, through which it has targeted the emigrant Portuguese population.
 In Paris today the chairman of BPE, Javier Valls Taberner and the chairman of BCP, Jorge Jardim Goncalves signed the agreement on the constitution of Banco Popular Comercial.
 The new bank will begin business immediately after receiving authorization from the Central Banks of France, Spain and Portugal.
 Commenting on the formation of the new bank, Jorge Jardim Goncalves, said: "We are delighted to be working with BPE on our new, jointly owned, French bank. Not only will it serve an important customer segment, it demonstrates how BCP's strategy of internationalization involving partners selected on the basis of expertise can result in the development of business to our mutual advantage."
 -0- 12/19/91
 /CONTACT: Jose Pinto Bastos of BCP, 011-3511-342-7381; or Kevin Soady (in the U.K.), 011-44-71-638-9571, or Fern Lazar or John McInerney, 212-688-6840, all of Dewe Rogerson for BCP/ CO: Banco Popular Espanol; Banco Comercial Portugues;
 Banco Popular Comercial SA ST: IN: FIN SU: JVN


SH-JT -- NY035 -- 3856 12/19/91 11:40 EST
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Date:Dec 19, 1991
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