Spain's Bankia reinstated in blue-chip index

MADRID Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:39pm EST

A man uses an ATM machine at a Bankia bank branch in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

A man uses an ATM machine at a Bankia bank branch in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain October 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

MADRID (Reuters) - Bailed-out Spanish lender Bankia (BKIA.MC) is to be reinstated in Spain's blue-chip IBEX-35 index from December 23, a small but symbolic step in its recovery from near collapse in mid-2012.

Wind turbine-maker Gamesa (GAM.MC) will also rejoin the IBEX, while utility Endesa (ELE.MC) and steelmaker Acerinox (ACX.MC) will be ousted.

The changes to the IBEX-35, which tracks the country's 35 biggest companies are made on the basis of trading volumes and the size of a company's traded capital.

Bankia has become a symbol of the country's financial crisis after its woes, mainly stemming from soured properties and real estate loans, pushed Spain to seek a 41-billion-euro ($56.4 billion) aid package from Europe for its weakest lenders.

Hundreds of thousands of small shareholders, most of them retail Bankia clients, were practically wiped out in the bank's bailout.

Bankia, which is now about 70 percent owned by the state, was kicked out of the IBEX almost a year ago and after only 18 months as a listed company.

After dropping sharply earlier this year when the bank was in the midst of being recapitalized, Bankia shares nearly doubled since July. They closed at 1.016 euros on Thursday. ($1 = 0.7271 euros)

(Reporting by Paul Day and Sarah White; Editing by Julien Toyer and Elaine Hardcastle)

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