Soros Said to Be Among Investors That Bought Shares in Bankia

Billionaire George Soros is among investors who bought shares in nationalized lender Bankia SA (BKIA) during a sale by the Spanish government last week, said a person familiar with the information.

Soros Fund Management was ranked sixth among 95 investors or investment funds for the amount of shares purchased in the 1.3 billion-euro ($1.8 billion) offering, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Spain sold 7.5 percent of the country’s fourth-biggest bank, reducing its stake to 61 percent, as its state-owned parent started to offload the shares on Feb. 28.

A spokesman for Bankia, who asked not to be identified in line with company policy, declined to comment by telephone. Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Soros is among investors betting on a Spanish recovery by buying shares in banks and real estate. Paulson & Co., the hedge fund firm founded by billionaire John Paulson, is investing in Spanish real estate company Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios that plans to raise as much as 550 million euros in an initial public offering, according to a prospectus published yesterday.

Reuters reported the Bankia investment by Soros earlier.

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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