(AFP) Eurozone finance ministers wound up emergency talks on the rescue of Spain's stricken banks with a planned bailout worth up to 100 billion euros, senior EU officials said.
Spain has made no formal request for a rescue but Economy Minister Luis de Guindos is to hold a news conference at 1730 GMT following the two-and-a-half conference call by finance ministers of the 17-nation eurozone.
"De Guindos will explain to the media the actions to be taken regarding the recapitalisation of the Spanish banking sector," the economy ministry said in a statement.
Sources with knowledge of the talks said Spain would formally request aid for the troubled banks and that it would be approved, adding that the IMF would play an oversight role.
A senior EU source said the rescue would be a banks-only bailout with no austerity plan demanded of Spain, the eurozone's fourth largest economy.
"There is no macro-economic programme because this is unnecessary," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The eurozone, facing its fourth bailout since the start of the two-year sovereign debt crisis, would however demand reforms in the financial sector in exchange for the bailout.
"Conditions to the Spanish government but these will only entail a clean-up of the financial sector," the source said.
European policymakers are keen to shore up Spain's position before June 17 elections in Greece which could push Athens closer to an exit from the euro single currency and spark market turmoil.
"The solution must come quickly," Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg premier who heads the Eurogroup, told German radio on Friday.
Unlike bailouts already approved for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Spain is believed to have been lobbying discreetly for a deal focused purely on helping banks, thus avoiding the pain and shame of outside interference in its sovereign affairs.
In Madrid, a government source said officials were examining an International Monetary Fund report on its banks and would wait for the outcome of the ministers' conference call that began at 1400 GMT before commenting on a bailout request.
"There is a meeting that was called by Brussels. We are waiting to see the results and we are analysing the IMF report," the source said.
The IMF bank stress tests, which were unveiled three days ahead of schedule, determined that Spanish banks need about 40 billion euros in new capital.
But a fund official noted that the banks would probably need more than that to build a "credible firewall" against financial market speculation.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde, who sat in on the conference call, called for closer cooperation among the countries that share Europe's single currency.
She argued in an interview for a common eurozone debt guarantee that would send "a clear signal to the markets that Europe has a common plan and its members want to follow it together.
"What is currently undermining efforts to support the euro are uncertainties and doubts about the long-term view of politicians and whether the eurozone will last," Lagarde told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
EU leaders are to attend a summit in Brussels on June 28-29 aimed at reinforcing European integration.
Meanwhile the IMF tests showed that while Spain's top two banks -- BBVA and Banco Santander -- were solid, the rest of the banking sector was struggling.
If the current stress continues "the largest banks would be sufficiently capitalised to withstand further deterioration, while several banks would need to increase capital buffers by about 40 billion euros," an IMF statement said Friday.
Fitch Ratings has estimated the amount needed at up to 100 billion euros.
The ratings agency Moody's warned on Friday that an EU rescue of Spanish banks and a possible Greek exit from the eurozone could lead to a broad cut of eurozone sovereign ratings, including those of top-rated France and Germany.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama urged Europe to act swiftly to fix its banking woes.
"In the short term they have got to stabilise their financial system. Part of that is taking clear action as soon as possible to inject capital into weak banks," he told reporters on Friday.