A group of seven ailing Spanish banks are set to be first in the queue to access funds made available through the country's international bailout, it has emerged.
According to Reuters, financiers including Catalunya Caixa, Banco Mare Nostrum and Banca Civica - a division of CaixaBank - will be among the first lenders to benefit from the rescue funds of up to €100 billion ($125 billion) in the near future.
These former savings banks are in desperate need of assistance as their monetary situation remains precarious due to the bad state of the country's real estate market and the International Monetary Fund indicated last week that such financiers are in the biggest need of external help.
Of the seven banks urgently requiring assistance, the most problematic are major financier Bankia and mid-sized firms NovaCaixaGalicia and CatalunyaCaixa, which have large capital shortfalls due to their operations in autonomous regions such as Catalunya and Galicia.
By Tony Aynsley