Banks face losses on British, Irish, Spanish real estate: study

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Banks could suffer losses of up to 92 billion euros (121 billion dollars) on commercial real estate loans in Britain, Ireland and Spain between 2009 and 2011, ratings agency Standard and Poor's warned Thursday.

"While commercial property prices have started to rebound in some European countries, this is likely to have had only a modest beneficial effect on bank asset quality," said S & P credit analyst Giles Edwards.

"In our view banks in the UK, Ireland and Spain in particular will likely continue to support elevated impairment losses on commercial real estate loans through 2011."

The most heavily exposed banks could see their credit ratings adversely affected, the report said.

It identified Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, both of which have been partially nationalised, as "by far the most exposed to the commercial real estate sector."

© 2010 AFP

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