Spanish Banks May See $83 Billion Losses, BBVA Research Says

Spanish banks may face more than 60 billion euros ($83 billion) of losses they haven’t covered with reserves as the economy risks tipping back into a recession, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s research arm said.

Banks should continue setting aside provisions to clean up their books, analysts led by Chief Economist Jorge Sicilia said in a report published today in Madrid. The risks of the European and Spanish economies slowing or returning to recessions have “considerably increased,” Spain’s second-largest bank said.

Spanish banks have provisioned 105 billion euros since the collapse of the debt-fueled building boom in 2008 and have 176 billion euros of “troubled” holdings linked to real estate, according to the Bank of Spain. The Socialist government, which faces a general election this month that polls indicate it will lose, has increased capital requirements for banks and on Sept. 30 nationalized three lenders that failed to meet the new rules.

As growth slows, Spain may miss its overall public-sector deficit target of 6 percent of gross domestic product this year, BBVA said, forecasting a shortfall of 6.5 percent if new measures aren’t taken. Next year, by which time polls show a new government led by the opposition People’s Party will be in place, the 4.4 percent target will be met, it said.

BBVA forecasts Spain’s economy will expand 0.8 percent this year and 1 percent in 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angeline Benoit in Madrid at abenoit4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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