Bankia tanks on bank run speculation

LONDON (ShareCast) - Shares of troubled Spanish bank Bankia were taking a beating on Thursday on the back of reports that customers are frantically withdrawing funds due to concerns over the lender's finances. According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Bankia customers have withdrawn more than €1bn from deposits since the bank was part-nationalised last week. Shares were down 20% earlier in the day but losses were pared slightly after the bank released a statement which said: "Depositors at Bankia can be absolutely reassured that their savings are safe." By 15:13 in Madrid, shares were down 11.24% at €1.47, having hit €1.17 earlier in the day. The bank, which was formed from seven different 'cajas' (savings banks) last year, has seen shares fall at a steep rate since last week, when its President Rodrigo Rato resigned and the Spanish government took a 45% stake. Also providing further downward pressure was Exane BNP Paribas which reiterated its underweight recommendation on the stock today and lowered its price target by 52% to €0.95. BC