and Argentaria SA, the third-largest, rose slightly Wednesday in reaction to an announcement that they planned to merge

BBV said Tuesday that it would buy Argentaria for about $11.3 billion in stock. The new company's assets, $244 billion, would make it Spain's second-largest bank by that measure, after Banco Santander Central Hispano SA. By market capitalization -- $41 billion -- the new company would be Spain's largest bank, and the world's 14th largest.

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