Deadline to sell stake in Caixabank extended



MADRID:

The Spanish government has extended the deadline to sell its 17.3% stake in Caixabank, worth some 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) at current market prices, by two years to the end of 2025, saying it aimed to get the best price for the holding.

“This extension aims to ensure greater efficiency in the use of public resources, maximising the recovery value of the state’s stake and thus responding to the ultimate goal of protecting the general interest,” it said in a statement.

This is the fourth extension to the government’s self-imposed deadline to sell its stake in the bank, the country’s largest lender by domestic assets.

Caixabank completed its 4.3 billion euro ($5.2 billion) acquisition of state-owned Bankia in March 2021, creating Spain’s biggest domestic bank with more than 650 billion euros in assets.

The government bailed out Bankia in a 22.4 billion euro rescue package in 2012 at the height of Spain’s financial crisis. With the sale of its stake in Caixabank, Spain seeks to recover the public money used to shore up Bankia’s finances at the time.

Last year, Economy Minister Nadia Calviño said the government was “in no hurry” to offload its holding in Caixabank.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2022.

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