MADRID, April 8 (Reuters) - Spanish holding vehicle Criteria, the main shareholder in Caixabank, announced on Monday it had raised its stake in Spanish telecoms company Telefonica to 5.007% from a previously reported 2.69%.

Criteria did not say how much it paid, but a 5% stake in Telefonica has a current market value of slightly more than 1.14 billion euros ($1.24 billion).

Criteria said its stake in Telefonica was of a "strategic and long-term nature" and its objective was to provide the company with the "greatest shareholder stability."

Caixabank last month reduced its stake in the telecoms company to 2.51% from 3.51% previously.

The Spanish government two weeks ago disclosed it had bought a 3.044% stake in Telefonica through its holding company SEPI.

The government's holding is part of a plan to acquire a stake of up to 10% to counterbalance the acquisition of a large stake in Telefonica by Saudi Arabia's STC.

STC's holding consists of 4.9% of Telefonica's shares and financial instruments that give it another 5% in what it called 'economic exposure' to the company.

STC has still not requested government authorization to exercise the voting rights corresponding to the financial instruments.

Other major shareholders in Telefonica include BBVA with a 4.839% stake and BlackRock with a 4.807% holding.

($1 = 0.9219 euros) (Reporting by Jesús Aguado, editing by Inti Landauro and Christina Fincher)