25 Apr 2013

Spanish bank back in profit after bailout

10:08 am on 25 April 2013

Spanish lender Bankia has announced a return to profit after a disastrous 2012 that saw record losses and a bailout by the European Union.

The bank said it made 74 million euros in the first three months of this year, after the bailout helped it get rid of bad property loans last year.

Bankia was one of the biggest casualties of Spain's financial crisis, losing 19.2 billion euros in 2012.

Its losses last year were the largest in Spanish corporate history, and it remains majority-owned by the government after receiving about 18 billion euros of aid, funded by the European Union.

It did not publish results for the first quarter of 2012, when it was in the midst of the bailout.

The BBC reports Spain's financial sector is still recovering following the collapse of the country's property market in 2008, in which Spanish banks had significant investments.

Meanwhile the economy remains in a deep recession. Unemployment, at 27%, is the highest in the EU.