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Spain to study merger of Bankia, Banco Mare Nostrum

Spanish bank restructuring fund FROB said Sept. 28 that itwould look into a possible merger between Bankia SA and Banco Mare Nostrum SA as well as other options in a bidto maximize the value of the two banks and facilitate the repayment of publicaid injected into them.

FROB will hire external advisers to help with theassessment. The fund owns a 65.69% stake in Bankia through and 65.03% of Banco Mare Nostrum, according to S&P Global MarketIntelligence data.

The Spanish government has previously pledged to exit Bankiaby the end of 2017. Bankia CEO José Sevilla Álvarez said in late April that theFROB and the European Commission were in preliminary talks regarding the possibility of mergingthe lender with Banco Mare Nostrum.