Spanish bad loans hit new record

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SpainFlag REUTERS A Spanish flag flutters in the wind near a statue of Columbus in Madrid.

The mountain of bad loans held by Spain's banks grew to a new record in November, with more than one in nine at risk of not being repaid, central bank figures showed Friday.

The level of doubtful loans - mostly real estate credits - reached 11.38 percent of total loans, up from 11.23 percent in October, the Bank of Spain said in a report.

It was the highest level since existing records began in 1962.

The total value of doubtful loans was 191.63 billion euros ($258 billion) in November, the central bank said.

Spain secured agreement in June last year for a European Union rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros to shore up its banks, which have been struggling with bad loans since a 2008 property crash.

A first tranche of 39.5 billion euros was disbursed in December, of which 37 billion euros went to four banks, including the hardest-hit Bankia, that have been rescued with state money and nationalised. - Sapa-AFP

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