Spanish bank BBVA is set to increase its stake in China CITIC Bank, the Financial Times reported, citing persons familiar with the matter. BBVA will likely exercise an option to lift its stake in CITIC from 10% to 15%, making BBVA one of the leading European investors in the mainland financial sector. The new investment contrasts with the conservatism of other Western banks, many of whom have either slowed investment or cashed out to meet liquidity challenges. BBVA has the right to acquire the shares directly from CITIC at HK$6.45 (US$0.83) per share. However, BBVA’s managing director in Asia, Manuel Galatas, said the bank had yet to finalize its decision.