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Bankia says 23.5 billion euro Spain government injection is an investment, not a loan

The troubled Spanish lender said it was not obliged to repay the money to Madrid.

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Spanish bank Bankia's headquarters in Madrid. (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

The president of troubled Spanish lender Bankia said today the 23.5 billion euro ($29.4 billion) government bailout it will receive was an investment, not a loan, and it was not obliged to give any of the money back to the state.

According to the Associated Press, Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri said in a statement the bank’s responsibility was “not to return that capital, but to be able to generate value and profitability” for that government contribution.

Goirigolzarri said Madrid would decide "when it deems appropriate, and through the mechanism it chooses" when to sell its stake in Bankia to get the highest possible return on its investment, the AP said.

The remarks came after it was revealed that Bankia, which has 32 billion euros on toxic property assets, expects to sell its industrial holdings, including a stake in the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, the Telegraph reported.

The Express said Bankia was also selling an 876 million pound ($1.4 billion) stake in Spanish power group Iberdrola as it seeks to raise capital.

Spain’s fourth largest bank said Saturday it was confident the state funds – the country’s biggest ever bank bailout – would be be sufficient to turn the bank into a “solvent, efficient and profitable” financial entity.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/spain/120526/bankia-says-235-billion-euro-spain-government-injection-in