Spanish banks ‘encouraged’ to sell assets

Mariano Rajoy
Rajoy will "encourage" banks to sell assets

In an address to the Spanish parliament last week newly elected Mariano Rajoy says Spain’s banks will be encouraged to sell off their real estate portfolios in 2012.

Mr Rajoy said the true value of the aptly named “toxic assets” held by many of the country’s financial institutions needed to be clarified.

The Guardian quoted Mr Rajoy as saying: “We must clear up doubts about the value of certain assets, especially in real estate, which make access to the markets for the financial sector more difficult and also damage the credibility of our public debt.”

Antonio Barroso, analyst with Eurasia Group, told the Associated Press that there is still a division between the Popular Party, who have the majority in Parliament, and the Bank of Spain regarding the option of establishing a central bank to deal with all the toxic assets.

The value of property in Spain has taken a large hit over recent years with the latest Tinsa report showing a national fall of 8% between November 2010 and November 2011.