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By Jesús Aguado and Carlos Ruano
MADRID, July 4 Nationalised Spanish lender Bankia and Barcelona-based CaixaBank have asked JP Morgan to explore the sale of more than 30 percent of olive oil company Deoleo, two sources close to the deal said on Thursday.
Spanish banks are selling assets to boost their capital and clean their balance sheets following a 41 billion euro ($53 billion) European bail-out of the sector last year.
Bankia and CaixaBank are pooling their shareholdings in the bottled olive oil manufacturer with stakes held by other former unlisted savings banks, one source said.
"CaixaBank, Bankia and other shareholders have grouped together their stakeholdings to look at a possible joint sale, that could get a better price," said the source.
"This is not a placement in the market, it's a mandate to explore a possible sale."
Bankia is the biggest stakeholder in Deoleo with a stake of 18.2 percent, while CaixaBank holds nearly 6 percent. Other shareholder banks are Unicaja, Kutxabank and Banco Mare Nostrum.
Bankia, the biggest recipient in the international aid package last year, is on a drive to shed industrial holdings and sold its stake in airline group IAG last month. Bankia also sold U.S.-based City National Bank of Florida earlier this year, and portfolios of properties and troubled loans.
Bankia and its parent company BFA also hold stakes in utility Iberdrola and technology company Indra . ($1 = 0.7709 euros) (Reporting by Carlos Ruano and Jesus Aguado; Writing by Sonya Dowsett and Clare Kane; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)