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Spanish bank asks for $24 bn in state aid

The request came as Standard & Poor's downgraded Bankia and four other Spanish banks to junk status because of uncertainty over restructuring and recapitalization plans.

twitter-logoAssociated Press | May 26, 2012 | Updated 13:18 IST

Spain's troubled bank, Bankia, has asked the Spanish government for $23.8 billion in financial support just as a leading credit rating agency downgraded it to junk status.

Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the bank's president, said late on Friday that the bailout would "reinforce the solvency, liquidity and solidity of the bank."

The request came as Standard & Poor's downgraded Bankia and four other Spanish banks to junk status because of uncertainty over restructuring and recapitalization plans.

Trading in Bankia shares was suspended on Friday while its board determined how much new aid was needed. The bank's shares have experienced turbulent trading in recent weeks on fears it would not be able to cover the massive losses it has built up in bad loans to the country's collapsed real estate sector.

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