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Bankia of Spain Said to Plan Property Sale of $508 Million

Bankia of Spain Said to Plan Property Sale of EU400 Million
Offices are seen illuminated at night inside the Bankia SA headquarters in Madrid. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Bankia SA, the publicly traded arm of the lender taken over by Spain’s government this month, plans to sell and lease back 400 million euros ($508 million) of properties, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The mix of bank branches and other buildings would be sold at a yield of 8 percent to 9 percent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A spokesman for Bankia declined to comment.

Spain’s third-biggest bank needs to make 4.72 billion euros of pretax provisions to cover real-estate losses under new government rules aimed at bolstering the nation’s financial-services industry. Banco Santander SA, the country’s biggest lender, will make 2.7 billion euros of pretax provisions while its largest rival, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, will set aside 1.8 billion euros.

Bankia, which has more real estate on its books than any other Spanish bank, said on Feb. 2, that it would meet new provisioning rules for property assets in part through sales and leasebacks of loan portfolios and real estate.

Bankia tumbled as much as 29 percent in Madrid trading after newspaper El Mundo reported that depositors had withdrawn about 1 billion euros since May 9, the day the government said would take over its parent company. Spain’s deputy economy minister, Fernando Jimenez Lattore, said today there is no deposit flight from the bank. The stock was down 14 percent at 1.77 euros as of the close of trading in Mardia.

The Spanish government took over Bankia’s parent, Banco Financiero & de Ahorros SA, on May 9, ending control by 300-year-old Caja Madrid and six other savings banks that combined in 2010 to create the Bankia group. The transaction is part of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s efforts to overhaul the financial industry.

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