August 5, 2020

Time in the Bankia trial: "The president of the government threw me off" | Economy



The intervention of Bankia was "an absolutely political decision," said Rodrigo Rato, former president of the entity, during the second day of his interrogation at the trial on the bank's IPO. "The President of the Government threw me in. The President of the Government personally threw me out," he insisted in reference to Mariano Rajoy, the tenant of Moncloa on May 7, 2012, when Rato left the entity.

Rodrigo Rato has continued to show very strong before the questions of the public prosecutor Carmen Launa, who on Wednesday is asking about the Bankia IPO in July 2011 with a significant discount. The expolitic of the PP has justified that price of the shares in the fact that the priority objective was to debut in the parquet before the month of September because of not doing so the only way out was the nationalization of the entity.

In line with what he stated the previous day, Rato has insisted that the Bank of Spain did not seem worried about the price but about the IPO before a certain date. "The message from the Bank of Spain and the vice president, who was in charge of the government and who had an influence on us, was to leave before September," he assured. The vice president and minister of Economy of the Government of Rodríguez Zapatero was Elena Salgado.

Regarding the IPO at the price at which Bankia did it, Rato pointed out that the FROB also agreed that it was better to go out at a discount than not. "When we found out the price, we could have given up, but the reputational costs were worse than accepting, as the FROB says in its indictment and also the Prosecutor's Office," the former president of Bankia said.

The prosecutor was asking her if a minimum price had not been set below which the entity would not go public, since the prospectus presented the possibility of withdrawal. Bankia set the price at a range between 4.41 and 5.05 euros per share, but finally it came out at 3.75.

"Who is the handsome one"

The public prosecutor asked this morning about the deterioration of the participation of BFA (the parent company) in Bankia for the exit price of the shares on the stock exchange. He has read an email from an inspector of the Bank of Spain, José Antonio Casaus Lara (former head of the Inspectorate of the entity) in which this, after meeting with the Bankia's intervener, Sergio Durá, says: "Let's see who is handsome who sends a letter to the FROB saying there is a hole of 5,000 million. " The prosecutor has insisted: "It seems that the problem did exist, that there was an impact", something that Rato has played down.

"Not to mention emails and colloquial phrases, we are going to see the report of the Bank of Spain, was it a problem, yes, one of the many, did it have a solution? Yes, and we looked for it," Rato added. As a result of the discount in the price, the book value of BFA was reduced from 13,000 to 8,000 million euros.

The court decided on Tuesday to keep all the accusations, popular and private in the case, and the accused, which are 34 (31 managers and three individuals: Bankia, its parent BFA and the auditor Deloitte). At the moment, the Prosecutor's Office formally only accuses investors who were Bankia's president, Rodrigo Rato, the former CEO of Bankia Francisco Verdú and the directors José Manuel Fernández Norniella and José Luis Olivas of swindling investors. But the first day of judgment he announced that he was studying accusing them (the rest of the 34 defendants) of another crime, the accounting falsehood.

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