Bankia, an expected General Meeting quieter than last year?

Bankia’s June 2013 General Meeting was the stage of some unprecedented events when thousands of small shareholders demonstrated half-naked and booed Bankia’s executives (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-AL9xIy_us) after having being soaked as the value of the share plummeted from around 43, 75 EUR to 1, 23 EUR at December 31, 2013 only two years after being listed on the Spanish stock exchange. 

Following the bailout in May 2012 by the Spanish State of EUR 23.5 billion, the most expensive in the history of Spain, the Spanish State is now the sole shareholder of Bankia’s parent company through the Fund of Orderly restructuring of the Banking Sector (FROB). 

As a consequence of the restructuring plan and recapitalization process implemented, dividends are temporarily restricted until 2014, and adds up to the burden already supported by thousands of Bankia’s shareholders.  

To avoid such incidents at this year General Meeting (March 22, 2014), the Board of directors proposes to amend the minimum ownership up to 500 shares in order to attend the meeting. Shareholders have the right to pool their shares until at least the said number is reached, and appoint a representative from amongst them. 

While we do not agree with any limitations to the right to vote and to the polite expression of any opinions by minority shareholders, we consider that the provision of the minimum ownership to attend the meeting has been justified by incidents occurred last year (see our complete proxy report at shop.ecgs.com)

In 2013, Bankia’s executives did not receive any bonuses and fixed salary was capped at EUR 500 000. Thanks to the restructuring plan, the Group enjoyed a renewed profit at EUR 511.64 million net income attributable to shareholders versus EUR 19'056 million net loss in 2012 and should pursue its recovery for 2014. Let's hope that this will at least ease a little of shareholders' resentment...

London, March 05, 2014