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Bankia asks for bailout

Bankia asks for bailout
The Spanish bank Bankia has requested €19bn (£15bn) of financial support from the Spanish government. The figure represents the largest bailout in the country's history.

The request was formally approved by the bank's board of directors at a meeting this evening.

Trading in Bankia shares was suspended earlier today in anticipation of the decision, while Bankia's rating was cut from BB+ to BBB- by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

S&P also cut the rating of Bankia's parent company Banco Financiero y de Ahorros, along with four other Spanish banks including Bankinter and Banco Popular Espanol. The agency cited the weakening Spanish economy as its rationale for the decision.

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