Spain banks' bad loans ratio hits new high of 13.6 pct in Dec
MADRID Feb 18 (Reuters) - Spanish banks' bad loans as a percentage of total lending rose to 13.6 percent in December, data from the Bank of Spain showed on Tuesday, marking a fresh record as credit shrank on a monthly basis.
The banks' bad loan ratio was 13.07 percent in November, revised slightly from a preliminary figure of 13.08 percent.
The volume of non-performing debts rose by 4.6 billion euros ($6.3 billion) to 197 billion euros in December from a month earlier, while total lending fell by 24 billion euros to 1.45 trillion euros.
Spanish banks' bad loan ratio is expected to keep rising over the coming months even as the country grows out of recession, partly because of the squeeze in lending, though some banks are prediciting it will reach a peak later in 2014. ($1 = 0.7298 euros)
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