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The government extends the state’s presence in CaixaBank shares for another two years

December 2025. This is the new date set by the government for the state’s divestment from CaixaBank. It is a new extension of the financial sector exit deadline, one of several pending ways for the government to absorb some of the economic aid given during the bailout a decade ago. FROB, the public participation mechanism, holds more than 17.3% of the Catalan entity’s titles, making it its second largest shareholder. The Council of Ministers extended the legal deadline for alienation at the session held on Tuesday.

The decision is as expected. The executive had another year to decide on a divestment at CaixaBank, although it was widely believed that the calendar could be extended. “This extension is intended to ensure greater efficiency in the use of public resources, to maximize the cost of restoration of state participation and thus respond to the ultimate goal of protecting common interests,” the government asserted in a recent press release. time last Friday.

The FROB defended the merger of Bankia and CaixaBank in 2020, arguing that it allowed the divestment of stakes to be carried out more easily than having a controlling stake in the entity. However, no sale operation has taken place since then and 17.3% is retained following the share buyback plan implemented by CaixaBank. In fact, this means an increase in the share in the bank, since before this operation it was 16.1%.

The state has seen a sharp reevaluation of its stake in the banking sector, although it is still far from the money invested in the bank to save it. CaixaBank is the second Ibex 35 company to grow the most during 2022, at 58%, surpassed only by another bank, Sabadell. The unit’s stock market value is just under €30,000 million, so the state’s participation is currently worth around €5,080 million in the market. However, the pending recovery from the surviving entity is over Rs 20,000 crore, so the gap remains high.

“The divestment process must take into account the context of uncertainty and high volatility in the markets, as well as the potential for Caixabank’s shares to continue to develop positively in the face of rising interest rates,” the government defended.

The state saved the bank in 2012 and took over 68.69% of the bank. Together with BMN, an entity that was later absorbed by Bankia, the total bailout amounted to approximately €24,000 million. Since then, only two divestments have been carried out at a significant loss to the state. However, the last one was more than five years ago.

This is the fourth time various governments have extended the deadline to exit the financial sector, following an extension approved by the Council of Ministers this Tuesday. The first was approved in 2016, the second in 2018, and the last one was implemented in February 2021, which had a deadline of December next year. Now it extends until 2025. FROB, in addition to owning 17% of CaixaBank, is the owner of Sareb, where it holds more than 50% of the titles.

Source: El Diario





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