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Bankia Sells Florida Lender to Chile’s BCI for $883 Million

Bankia SA (BKIA), a Spanish lender rescued last year with funds from Europe, agreed to sell its bank in Florida to Chile’s Banco de Credito e Inversiones (BCI) for $882.8 million.

The sale of City National Bank of Florida will yield a net gain of 180 million euros ($233 million) and add 30 basis points to core capital, Valencia-based Bankia said in a filing to regulators today.

The terms of a 22 billion-euro bailout for Bankia oblige Chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri to find buyers for non-core assets such as the Miami-based bank and holdings including a stake in insurer Mapfre SA. (MAP) City National had $4.7 billion of assets, 26 branches and 435 employees at the end of March, Bankia said.

BCI fell 4.7 percent today in Santiago, its biggest drop since September 2011. The bank, owned by the billionaire Yarur family, plans to pay for the acquisition by selling new stock and bonds, it said in a statement.

BCI’s acquisition is the second foray out of Chile by a local bank after Corpbanca SA (CORPBANC), controlled by Billionaire Alvaro Saieh, 63, acquired Banco Santander SA’s operations in Colombia for $1.16 billion in December 2011. Corpbanca later agreed to pay $1.28 billion for Colombia’s Helm Bank SA to expand its presence in the country.

Bankia joins other Spanish lenders that have sold assets in the Americas to bolster capital.

CaixaBank SA (CABK) said yesterday it may sell a 10 percent stake in Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB, a Mexican financial services firm owned by 73-year-old billionaire Carlos Slim. Banco Santander sold a stake last year in Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico, adding to disposals of other Latin American assets including its Colombian bank.

Caja Madrid, the lender that led a seven-way merger of savings banks in 2010 to form Bankia, acquired City National in April 2008, paying $927 million for an 83 percent stake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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