Spain starts privatisation of nationalised Bankia

MADRID (AFP) - Spain's government is to begin the privatisation of nationalised lender Bankia by selling off 7.5 per cent through its banking assistance fund FROB, according to a filing with the stock market regulator CNMV on Thursday.

The banks tasked with the sale are Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS, the latter said in a statement to the CNMV.

Bankia is Spain's fourth-largest bank. It was created at the end of 2010 through the merger of several regional savings banks.

The government nationalised it in 2012 when it nearly collapsed, prompting Madrid to ask its eurozone partners for 41 billion euros (S$70.9 billion) in rescue loans to shore up the entire banking system.

Bankia lost 19 billion euros in 2012 but made a profit of 608 million euros last year.

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