Spain Reveals Sea of Red Ink at Bankia


Spain revealed Wednesday an ocean of red ink in its bailed-out Bankia group at the heart of the nation's banking crisis.

The lender Bankia had a negative value of 4.148 billion euros ($5.5 billion) and its parent group BFA 10.444 billion euros, the state-backed Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring, or FROB, said in a statement.

The valuations are a key piece in the recapitalization of the banking system, weighed down by massive bad loans accumulated in a property bubble that burst in 2008.

Spain's eurozone partners agreed in June to lend up to 100 billion euros to finance the repair work to the banks.

They set strict conditions on the rescue loan including the creation of a bad bank to absorb the industry's stricken assets at a discount and try to sell them at a profit.

The idea is to free up Spain's banks to lend again, breathing new life into the recession-hit economy.

At a meeting Wednesday, the FROB said it had reached a final agreement on the recapitalization of four banks that were rescued and nationalized: BFA-Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia.

The BFA-Bankia group had by far the lowest valuation of the four lenders.

NCG Banco had a negative value of 3.091 billion euros, Banco de Valencia a negative value of 6.341 billion euros and Catalunya Banc a negative value of 6.674 billion euros.

The banks will receive 36.968 billion euros "in the next days", the FROB said.

The banks' need for extra capital would be reduced by transferring their bad assets to a newly created bad bank, SAREB, it said.

Holders of preference shares in the banks are also expected to take losses, further lowering the final cost to the state.

Once the recapitalization is complete, the banks will meet requirements that they have a top quality "core capital" equal to nine percent of total assets, the FROB said.

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