Bankia shares hit by $1.6BN withdrawals report

Shares in Bankia, the recently nationalized Spanish bank, are plunging by more than 20 percent on a local report that customers have withdrawn more than €1 billion ($1.27 billion) since the state took it over last week.

The shares were off 16 percent Thursday at €1.39 after falling as much as 27 per cent during the morning.

The newspaper El Mundo reported it had obtained access to data presented at a Bankia board meeting Wednesday which said depositors had withdrawn €1 billion since last Wednesday, the day the nationalization was announced. The bank is Spain's fourth largest and is heavily exposed to Spain's collapsed property market.

Bankia officials were not immediately available to comment on the newspaper report. Bankia was formed through a merger of seven troubled regional savings banks.