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Spain's Bankia woes heat up

Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 01:15

May 25 - Trading in Bankia shares was suspended after reports the bank is gearing up to ask for a 15 billion euro bailout from the government. Joanne Nicholson reports

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First the Spanish government part nationalised the country's fourth biggest bank. Now it's thought the troubled Bankia is getting ready to ask for a 15 billion euro bailout. Share trading was suspended on the Madrid stock exchange in the wake of the news. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOSE ANTONIO PEREZ RODRIGUEZ, HEAD OF THE BME INSTITUTE FINANCIAL TRAINING CENTRE OF THE MADRID STOCK EXCHANGE, SAYING: "The reason of having a suspension is to give time to investors and the market to know new information in the market, new data." Shares in the Bankia's parent company, BFA, have also been suspended. Bankia suffered heavy losses under the weight of the country's property crash in 2008. And there have been increasing worries the bank, along with some of the others, might ask for international help, making it a major risk to the entire Euro zone. Anti-austerity protests have reached fever pitch in Spain in recent months, as the government tries to implement labour law reforms in a drive to make savings of 45 billion euros. Even Spain's Eurovison song contest entrant has weighed in to the debate, saying her country couldn't afford to host next year's even if she won this year's. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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Spain's Bankia woes heat up

Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 01:15