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Spanish banks' bad loan rate highest in 18 years

Wednesday - 4/18/2012, 7:10am  ET

MADRID (AP) - The amount of bad loans on Spanish banks' books has risen to an 18-year high of 8.15 percent, central bank figures show.

The Bank of Spain said Wednesday that bad loans accounted for (EURO)143.8 billion ($188.84 billion) of a loan total of (EURO)1.76 trillion in February. The figure was up (EURO)3.79 billion up from January, when it represented 7.91 percent.

The bank added that the total figure for loans was down by (EURO)6.36 billion in February compared to a month earlier.

Spanish banks' bad loans and toxic assets are among the chief reasons investors are concerned about the country's ability to handle its finances and avoid seeking an international bailout.

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