Investors snap up Bankia’s 12% holding in IAG

A painless transition bodes well for the embattled airline group.

Normally trying to shift a 12.1% holding in a company that has more than its fair share of worrying headlines is a complicated and troubling process. The relative ease with which Bankia has managed to relieve itself of shares in International Consolidated Air underlines the investment community’s fondness for the company. The Spanish bank was always deemed to be a nervous holder of stock, with growing issues relating to its existing Spanish exposure and the looming deadlines for Basel III, requiring it to address tier one capital ratios. This meant it was always likely to need to raise funds.

What really catches the eye is the fact that it was possible to place this at only a 3% discount to market - with the volatility we have seen in equities, that is hardly much of a buffer zone. This does lead us to the conclusion that those who took up this placing have done so with the intention of being longer-term holders, as it does not leave much scope for those seeking a quick return.

The share price has performed well, with a year-to-date increase of over 40%, so it is hardly surprising that IG clients are currently 76% long of the stock. When you consider how much negative press coverage this company has had, with Iberia cabin crew strikes and so forth, this really is an impressive return.

International Consolidated Air chart

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