Bankia, Caixabank sell stakes in NH Hoteles, BME

MADRID Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:59pm EST

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish banks Bankia (BKIA.MC) and Caixabank (CABK.MC) on Thursday announced stake sales in other companies as lenders bulk up capital ahead of Europe-wide health checks of their balance sheets this year.

Bankia and its parent company BFA said they had put all of their 12.6 percent stake in hotel group NH Hoteles (NHH.MC) up for sale. The stake is worth around 192 million euros ($261 million) at Thursday's closing price.

Caixabank said it was selling all of its 5 percent stake in stock market operator BME (BME.MC) to institutional investors through a book-building process. The stake is worth around 129 million euros.

Spain's bailed-out banks, such as Bankia, have been among the most active sellers of industrial holdings as they slim down as part of their restructuring plans.

Bankia has already sold stakes in IT company Indra (IDR.MC), International Airlines Group (ICAG.L) and insurance group Mapfre (MAP.MC). It still has to sell 5.14 percent of utility Iberdrola (IBE.MC).

At the end of 2012, La Caixa, Caixabank's parent group, raised 1.65 billion euros by cutting its majority stake in Caixabank. It also raised funds though a bond that could be exchanged into part of its stake in Spanish oil major Repsol (REP.MC).

JB Capital Markets will act as book-runner for the Bankia operation, while Citigroup will sell Caixabank's stake in BME to institutional shareholders.

Caixabank said the results of its BME sale, including the price, would likely be announced on Friday.

($1 = 0.7352 euros)

(Reporting by Sonya Dowsett and Sarah White; Editing by Julien Toyer and Anthony Barker)

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