Spain's Bankia hires Rothschild to sell company stakes

MADRID Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:14am EST

MADRID Feb 15 (Reuters) - Bailed-out Spanish lender Bankia has hired Rothschild to help sell its stakes in companies including power group Iberdrola and insurer Mapfre, as the bank rebuilds its capital.

Bankia, which along with parent group BFA took 18 billion euros ($24 billion) of European Union aid last year, has to shrinks its business as a condition of the rescue.

"We have hired Rothschild for certain disposals," a spokesman for Bankia said on Friday.

Bankia, which is controlled by the government through BFA, has said it hopes to raise about 8 billion euros by selling its stakes in Spanish listed and private companies.

The bank owns 12 percent of International Airlines Group , the company that combines UK airline British Airways and Spain's Iberia.

It also has 20 percent of technology group Indra, 27 percent of insurer Realia, nearly 16 percent of hotel group NH Hoteles, 5.3 percent of Iberdrola and 15 of Mapfre.

Bankia, which has forecast losses of 19 billion euros for 2012, said in a November presentation that it would likely make provisions against losses on its company holdings of 4.3 billion euros. The bank revalued the holdings on its books to mark them down to market prices.

Bankia shares were down 8.3 percent on Friday morning at 0.37 euros at 0920 GMT, after closing down 12 percent on Thursday. The drop followed a warning by Spanish bank restructuring fund FROB that existing shareholders would be heavily diluted in an upcoming recapitalisation.

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