MADRID May 29 Spain is not planning to sell
more of its controlling stake in bailed-out lender Bankia
in the short term, Deputy Economy Minister Fernando
Jimenez Latorre said on Thursday.
Online newspaper El Confidencial said earlier on Thursday
that Spain's bank restructuring fund FROB was set to sell
another 11 percent stake as early as Friday. The FROB said the
report was "completely untrue."
"There is not going to be any placement in the short term,"
Jimenez told a news conference.
The Spanish government sold a 7.5 percent chunk of Bankia in
February, kicking off the privatisation process and turning the
bank into a symbol of the country's economic recovery.
The FROB, which manages the government's bank holdings, can
start selling shares in Bankia again after Friday, when a
restrictive period following its first placement expires.
Shares in the lender, which is currently 61 percent-owned by
the state, were down 1.9 percent at 1200 GMT on Thursday, at
1.47 euros per share.
Bankia, crippled by Spain's property market slump,
embarked on drastic turnaround involving thousands of job cuts
and office closures since its bail-out.
It returned to profit last year, after losing 19 billion
euros ($25.8 billion) in 2012, when its problems pushed Spain to
ask Europe for funds to rescue weak banks.
Spain turned a small profit with the first share placement,
completed at 1.51 euros per share, above the 1.35 euros per
share at which it had injected funds into Bankia.
($1 = 0.7354 Euros)
(Reporting by Sarah White and Robert Hetz; Editing by Julien
Toyer and Erica Billingham)