Trading in shares in Spanish bank Bankia was suspended early on Friday as privatisation of the company, nationalised in 2012, got under way, the market regulator CNMV said.
The bank support fund, acting on behalf of the Spanish state, has begun the privatisation with the sale of 7.5 percent of the shares worth about 1.360 billion euros ($1.865 billion).
That valuation is based on the closing price of Bankia shares on Thursday of 1.58 euros.
The bank was rescued from bankruptcy with state aid of more than 20 billion euros.
Three banks, the London branch of Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS were in the process of placing the 7.5-percent stake privately with qualified investors, UBS said in a statement to the CNMV late on Thursday.
The operation was not expected to take more than a day.
The European Union has given the Spanish government up to 2017 fully to privatise Bankia, which is the fourth-biggest Spanish bank by capitalisation.
The rescue in 2012 led Spain to request EU support of 41.3 billion euros for its banking sector, which was in crisis since the bursting of a property bubble in 2008.