By Daniel Hunter

Santander has surprised investors by announcing plans to raise $7.5bn (£5.9bn) from them in a share sale.

The eurozone's largest bank had its shares suspended by regulators in Madrid after the news broke. Santander said it would go through "an accelerated process" to complete the sale and return to trading.

Aside from re-shuffling the board, it is the first major move of Ana Botin, who took control of the bank in September after the death of her father Emilio, who had led Santander for more than five decades.

The decision to raise capital is believed to have been prompted by recent stress tests. Although Santander it passed the tests, its capital has been questioned in the past.

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