October 4, 2016 / 8:46 AM / a year ago

Spain's Bankia chairman says possible BMN merger could happen mid-2017

MADRID, Oct 4 (Reuters) - A possible merger between Spanish state-owned banks Bankia and Banco Mare Nostrum (BMN) would take place in mid-2017 once an analysis of the operation is complete, Bankia’s Chairman said on Tuesday.

Spain’s bank rescue fund said last week it would look into a merger of Bankia, Spain’s fourth largest lender, and the smaller BMN, which would potentially create a new entity with total assets of over 240 billion euros ($269 billion).

“This is an operation that would occur around the middle of next year, if it goes ahead,” Chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri told an audience in Madrid.

Bankia has said the merger would only take place once they complete an analysis which can show it would create value for its shareholders. The analysis has not yet started, Goirigolzarri said. (Reporting by Angus Berwick; Editing by Paul Day)

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