Ailing Spanish bank CAM posts massive first-half loss

5th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's struggling Caja Mediterraneo (CAM), under state control since in July, Monday posted first-half losses 1.136 billion euros ($1.602 billion).

It also reported a non-performing loan ratio of 19 percent, far above the average of 6.416 percent for the sector in June.

The Bank of Spain announced on July 22 that it would take control of the CAM through an injection of 2.8 billion euros and the opening of a 3.0 billion euro line of credit. It now plans to sell-off the ailing savings bank.

On Friday, the business daily Cinco Dias said the CAM may need about 1.0 billion euros in additional public funds.

The CAM was one of five Spanish banks that failed new European stress tests on July 15 to see if they can survive a major crisis.

Spain's lenders, especially its regional savings banks which account for about half of all lending in the country, have been heavily exposed to bad debt since the collapse of the property sector at the end of 2008.

The government and Bank of Spain have forced a wave of consolidation in the sector this year and are requiring banks to quickly increase the proportion of core capital they hold to above international norms.

CAM, based in the eastern coastal region of Alicante which was one of the worst hit by the bursting of the property bubble, had been set to merge with three other savings banks but the deal fell through earlier this year.

© 2011 AFP

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