Spain's Bankia S.A. requested the country's government provide it with a bailout worth €19 billion ($24 billion) on Friday, the same day Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it lowered its ratings on five financial institutions based in the Iberian nation.
Created by the merger of seven troubled banks in December 2010 and nationalized by Spain this month, Bankia also restated on Friday its financial results for last year, saying it had not a small €309 million profit (as it had previously reported) but a large €2.98 billion loss, according to BBC News.
Bankia's parent Banco Financiero y de Ahorro, or BFA, requested that Spain's Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria, or FROB, inject the €19 billion, after a board meeting on Friday. Bankia will subsequently issue €12 billion in capital that will be underwritten by BFA, BBC News reported.
The bank said the "recapitalization measures strengthen the group's solvency, liquidity, and stability," BBC News reported.
Trading in Bankia shares was suspended on the Bolsa de Madrid Friday while its management was putting together its restructuring plan.
On May 10, an earlier €4.5 billion loan from the Spanish bailout fund FROB to Bankia was converted into a 45 percent stake in the bank.
Meanwhile, S&P announced, "We lowered our long-term counterparty credit ratings on five financial institutions -- Bankia S.A., Banco Financiero y de Ahorros S.A., Banca Civica S.A. (Civica), Banco Popular Espanol S.A. (Popular), and Bankinter S.A. -- based on our lowering of our assessments of their [stand-alone credit profiles, or SACPs]."
Changes in S&P's long-term counterparty credit ratings on these five institutions are as follow:
-- Bankia S.A. was cut to BB+/Watch Neg/B from BBB-/Watch Neg/A-3.
-- Banco Financiero y de Ahorros S.A. was cut to B+/Watch Neg from BB-/Watch Neg.
-- Banca Civica S.A. was cut to BB/Watch Pos from BB+/Watch Pos.
-- Banco Popular Espanol S.A. was cut to BB+/Negative/B from BBB-/Watch Neg/A-3.
-- Bankinter S.A. was cut to BB+/Negative/B from BBB-/Watch Neg/A-3.
Also on Friday, Catalonia -- Spain's wealthiest autonomous region -- appealed to the country's central government for assistance. "We need to make payments at the end of [each] month," Catalan President Artur Mas was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Your economy can't recover if you can't pay your bills."
Richard Franulovich, senior currency strategist at Westpac Securities in New York, told Reuters, "The Catalonia news was a big deal because it implies that the Spanish government may have to take on more debt -- and it cannot afford to do so."
€1 = $1.2515
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