Venezuelan bank Banesco on Wednesday was awarded an 88.3 percent stake in nationalized Spanish lender NCG Banco in an auction, beating out offers from Spain's largest financial institutions and a pair of foreign investment firms, financial sources told Efe.

Spain's state-backed FROB bank-restructuring fund determined that Banesco's offer was the best after studying proposals submitted by Spain's three largest financial institutions - Banco Santander, BBVA and Caixabank - and the investment firms Guggenheim and JC Flowers.

Banesco was awarded control of NCG Banco because its bid was at least 200 million euros ($274 million) and 50 percent greater than the second-highest offer.

NCG Banco, which is the product of the merger of regional savings banks Caixa Galicia and Caixanova, received 9.05 billion euros ($12.4 billion) in public funds to shore up its finances.

Last Thursday, the FROB sweetened the attractiveness of NCG Banco by informing all the interested parties that the lender had 2.35 billion euros ($3.22 billion) in deferred tax assets that the winning bidder could count as core capital. EFE