MADRID (Reuters) -The Spanish government is in no rush to sell its 16% stake in Caixabank, Economy minister Nadia Calvino said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Expansion.
“We are in no hurry to do so,” Calvino said in the interview published on Monday, when asked when the state planned to offload its holding in Caixabank.
Caixabank completed its 4.3 billion euro ($5.2 billion) acquisition of state-owned Bankia in March, creating Spain’s biggest domestic bank with more than 650 billion euros in assets. The government was left with a 16.12% stake in the merged bank following the acquisition.
“It is a very well-managed institution and after completing the consolidation process, which has been very good for the Spanish financial sector, we have no plans on the horizon or intention to divest the state’s stake,” Calvino said.
The government bailed out Bankia in a 22.4 billion euro rescue in 2012 at the height of Spain’s financial crisis.
Just before the bank’s takeover by Caixabank was formally approved, the government gave itself an extra two years, until the end of 2023, to sell its stake in Bankia and recover public money used to shore up the lender’s finances.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Tomas Cobos and Jesús Aguado; editing by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton)