Spain′s Reyal Urbis property firm files for insolvency | News | DW | 20.02.2013
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Spain's Reyal Urbis property firm files for insolvency

Spanish property firm Reyal Urbis has filed for insolvency after failing to renegotiate its multi-billion euro debt. The company is the latest real estate firm to collapse since the country’s property crash in 2008.

A Reyal Urbis sign board is pictured in San Juan de Aznalfarache, February 19, 2013. Spanish real estate firm Reyal Urbis has filed for insolvency, the second biggest casualty of the country's property market crash and a sign banks and the government may turn their backs on more indebted companies. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo (SPAIN - Tags: BUSINESS REAL ESTATE)

Reyal Urbis

Spanish real estate giant Reyal Urbis said Tuesday it had filed for insolvency after failing to renegotiate debt of 3.6 billion euros (4.7 billion dollars).

The insolvency comes several months after the company, led and owned by construction tycoon Rafael Santamaria, announced that it had started talks to refinance its debt.

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Reyal Urbis files for insolvency

The company's creditors include Santander, BBVA, Bankia, Banco Popular and SAREB, the so-called "bad bank" created by the government to absorb toxic real estate assets from Spanish lenders.

Reyal Urbis' insolvency is Spain's second-biggest after Martinsa Fadesa which failed to pay almost 7.2 billion euros (9.6 billion dollars) of debt in 2008, leaving behind thousands of unfinished real estate projects.

At the peak of Spain's property boom, the country was building nearly a million new houses a year but the property crash in 2008 closed down dozens of companies. The credit crisis ended easy mortgage loans and left the market burdened with hundreds of thousands of unsold homes and billions of euros' worth of sour assets.

At the end of 2012, the company, whose main line of business is the development of first homes, had eight million square meters (86 million square feet) of land for property development.

Shares in the company closed at 0.124 euros on Monday after being traded at 9.0 euros in June 2008. The company is valued to be worth 36 million euros.

The housing slump has crushed Spain's economy, the euro zone's fourth-largest, further feeding the country's 26 percent unemployment rate.

hc/jm (AFP, dpa)

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