Bailed-out Spanish lender Bankia said Wednesday it is selling off its 12-percent stake in IAG, the company that owns British Airways and Spain's flag-carrier Iberia.
Bankia said in a statement it had charged US finance group Bank of America Merrill Lynch alongside its own brokerage arm with carrying out the sale of its 12.09 percent stake in International Airlines Group (IAG).
"The decision is a further step in carrying out the strategic plan for 2012 to 2015," said Bankia, which has become a symbol of the finance crisis that nearly pushed Spain to ask for an international bailout last year.
Bankia was bailed out by the Spanish government last year and has since received 18 billion euros from a eurozone rescue for Spanish banks.
Forced to restructure, it launched a strategic plan in November which ordains "the disinvestment of assets considered non-strategic, including ones in the stock portfolio", Wednesday's statement said.
Ahead of the announcement, shares in IAG had risen by 2.85 percent to close at 3.102 euros on the Madrid stock exchange.
European stock markets rallied for a second day after several days of falls.