Capital outflows from Spain quadrupled in May to €41.3 billion from May 2011 in a sign of waning confidence in the country's ailing banking sector. In the first five months of this year, outflows reached a record €163 billion, according to figures from the country's central bank.


The outflow has resulted from domestic banks sending money abroad, foreign lenders pulling out cash and mostly non-resident investors dumping Spanish assets. The steep rise was likely due to Bankia, the banking conglomerate, having requested a bailout in May.


EU officials are increasingly worried that if Spain, the euro zone's fourth largest economy, needs a full bailout, financial markets will target Italy, which is too big to be rescued.

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