Bankia Takes Success Story on Road

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When José Ignacio Goirigolzarri came out of retirement to take the helm of Spain's biggest distressed lender, more than his own reputation as a first-rate banker was at stake. So was the reputation of Spain's financial system, whose woes had undermined faith in Europe's common currency, The Wall Street Journal reported. After nearly two years as executive chairman of Bankia SA, Mr. Goirigolzarri is making measurable progress in overhauling the bank that in 2012 registered the biggest loss in Spanish corporate history. Bankia is holding its first formal series of presentations to investors—last week in London, this week in New York, Boston, Denver and Los Angeles—since it was bailed out by the European Union. The meetings come after Bankia last week reported its fourth quarter in a row of net profit, returns that are sparking discussion about when the government might start to sell part of its 68% stake in the lender. "The roadshow is one more step in the normalization of this institution," Mr. Goirigolzarri said in an interview. Bankia is anything but a normal bank. The lender was formed in December 2010 from the merger of seven troubled savings banks. Two years later, snowballing defaults on real-estate loans threatened to bankrupt Bankia and raised concerns about whether Spain could afford to bail it out and about the country's own solvency. Read more. (Subscription required.)