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Banco Sabadell Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss on Real Estate Cleanup

Banco Sabadell SA, Spain’s fifth-biggest bank, posted a fourth-quarter loss after booking costs to cover losses on real estate.

The net loss of 8.73 million euros ($11.6 million) compared with profit of 24.5 million euros a year earlier, the Sabadell, Spain-based lender said in a filing to regulators today. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a loss of 14.54 million euros.

Spanish lenders, including Sabadell, have been booking costs to comply with government orders to recognize losses on real estate that piled up on their balance sheets as Spain’s property boom turned to bust. Sabadell, which boosted its assets by more than 60 percent last year with the acquisition of the failed savings bank Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo, said it increased real estate sales by 1.6 times last year to 2.23 billion euros as it offloaded 13,777 properties.

Net interest income jumped 27 percent in the quarter to 487.3 million euros from a year earlier.

Bad loans as a proportion of total lending rose to 9.33 percent from 8.46 percent in September. Costs for provisioning impaired assets climbed to 370.2 million euros in the fourth quarter from 281.6 million euros a year ago.

Sabadell shares have risen 8.6 percent this year, valuing the bank at 6.35 billion euros.

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