UPDATE 1-Spain's Bami latest property firm to file for insolvency

Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:25pm EDT

MADRID, June 18 (Reuters) - Spanish property developer Bami has filed to begin insolvency proceedings, a company spokesman said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of real estate groups and other firms in the recession-hit country to struggle to refinance their debts.

Dozens of property firms have collapsed in Spain, where house prices have fallen 40 percent from their 2007 peak, and banks that have set aside money to cover losses in the sector are becoming tougher with firms still in business.

Unlisted Bami, 49 percent-owned by French property firm Gecina, has 620 million euros ($830 million) of debt with banks.

"A year ago we began negotiations with our syndicate of creditors to refinance the debt and we have not been able to reach an agreement," a Bami spokesman said.

France's Natixis, Spain's Banco Popular and German lender Eurohypo are the company's main lenders, Bami said.

Separately, Gecina said all assets and liabilities linked to Bami have been depreciated and are no longer consolidated in its accounts.

A record number of Spanish companies filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter. On Monday, plastic bottle maker La Seda de Barcelona started insolvency proceedings.

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