April 9, 2018 / 2:45 PM / 10 months ago

Spain may step up stake sales in Bankia privatization: chairman

FILE PHOTO - Spain's Bankia Chief Executive Officer Jose Sevilla arrives at a news conference to present their annual results, in Madrid, Spain, January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina

VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Spain’s banking bailout fund FROB could be looking at selling bigger stakes in the future privatization processes of Spain’s state-controlled Bankia (BKIA.MC), Chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri said on Monday.

Bankia got a 22.4 billion-euro ($27.6 billion) rescue package in 2012 to recover from property-loan losses at the height of Spain’s financial crisis. The government has until the end of 2019 to sell off the 61 percent stake it holds.

So far, it has sold a 7.5 percent stake in 2014 and a 7 percent stake in 2017.

“The FROB may engage in a more accelerated selling process than they have been doing so far with bigger stakes,” Goirigolzarri said on Monday.

Roadshows were attracting interest from investors, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sevilla said.

On Monday, Goirigolzarri said he had not held potential takeover talks with other banks, while recognizing that buying Bankia could be a good option for other lenders looking to grow in Spain.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado; Editing by Sonya Dowsett

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