Spain making progress in banking sector reform: IMF

WASHINGTON Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:35am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Spain has made progress in reforming its financial sector, but needs to keep up the momentum as more steps need to be taken, the International Monetary Fund said in a statement on Friday.

The IMF, along with the European Central Bank and European Commission, concluded a visit to the country on Friday to review its progress in reforming the financial sector.

Spain got a loan from the "troika" of lenders of up to 100 billion euros ($130 billion) to recapitalize its banks after the collapse of its property market.

Spain is also considering tapping euro zone rescue funds to help prop up the nation's troubled finances.

"Important progress has been made in reforming the financial sector," the IMF said after visiting the country. "It will be important to maintain the momentum as challenging steps lie ahead."

The IMF also said Spain's financial market conditions have improved since the ECB agreed to an unlimited bond-buying program for nation's that ask for a bailout, but conditions remain fragile.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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