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Spanish regulator suspends trading in Bankia shares

Shares in Bankia, Spain’s fourth largest bank, were suspended today – two days after the Spanish government said it would fully nationalize the troubled lender.

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Spain’s market regulator made the decision ahead of a Bankia board meeting, later today, that is expected to calculate the amount of rescue funds it needs from the government, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement, the market regulator said trading was halted because of issues “that could affect the normal exchange of the bank’s shares.”

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Wednesday announced the state would fully nationalize Bankia, with a bailout of at least 9 billion euros ($11 billion), Reuters reported.

De Guindos said more money would be available, if needed, to shore up Bankia, which holds 32bn euros in toxic assets.

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The move came two weeks after the Spanish government bought a majority stake in the troubled lender.

The government converted 4.5bn euros of state loans into shares in Bankia, when it partly nationalized the group on May 9, the BBC reported – in a move that caused its share price to plunge.

Bankia was created in 2010 as a conglomerate of seven regional savings banks, which were struggling financially.

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