January 16, 2014 11:06 pm

Caixabank sells its stake in BME

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Caixabank is planning to sell down its 5 per cent stake in Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, a move that means banks will become minority shareholders in the Spanish exchange.

The Spanish bank – the largest single shareholder in BME – announced after the close on Thursday it planned to sell its remaining 4.19m shares at between €29.60 and €30.75. Citigroup is the co-ordinator of the sale.

The planned sale comes two months after the Spanish central bank offloaded a similar sized stake in the BME, netting it €122m. Both Caixabank and the Bank of Spain took advantage of strength in the BME’s share price, which has risen 50 per cent in the last six months to €30.75 euros. That gives the former national monopoly a market capitalisation of €2.6bn.

The BME encompasses the stock exchanges of Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia and the country’s main derivatives exchange.

The central bank, which had been a shareholder in BME for a decade, sold down its stake to conform with recommendations set out in the International Monetary Fund’s May 2012 assessment of the Spanish financial system

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