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Allan Saunderson is managing editor of Property Finance Europe and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

MADRID-In order to keep creditors happy, Spanish listed property owner Reyal Urbis is expected to place a number of prime and good secondary Spanish real estate assets on the market for sale within a matter of days.

Reyal Urbis has overcome its reluctance to sell its best assets in order to improve its chance of securing refinancing on part of its debt–amounted to €4.8 billion. Of this, some €3 billion is linked to the purchase of Urbis from Banesto and ACS in 2006. Following the sale of its principle assets, which guarantee the company its regular stable income, Reyal Urbis will be more dependent on selling off residential units into Spain’s troubles residential sector.

The group also announced that it halted construction work on its mega project of almost an entire city block in Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana, according to sources within the company. The project, Castellana 200, was first presented in November 2006 and works were expected to be completed by the end of 2009 at an estimated investment of €350 million. The project involved refurbishment and conversion of a number of buildings to the north of Paseo de la Castellana into a 5-Star hotel, a shopping centre, and 200 apartments with a total of 42,000 square meters. Others assets which could attract interest from international buyers include the prime ABC Serrano shopping center located in Madrid. Also for sale are hotels from the Rafael chain and office buildings in Madrid including the PwC headquarters building close to the airport road, the Marcelo Spinola Building–tenants include Vodafone and Packard Bell–and a business park in Pozuelo de Alarcon near Madrid.

ABC shopping center was previously on the market in 2008 but was withdrawn. Market sources say the achievable price for the center is likely to be far below that which it would have obtained around two years ago. According to the Expansion newspaper, the Spanish consultancy Aguirre Newman has received instructions to sell the center. Around 65% of the Reyal’s income is linked to the residential market and it has suffered losses for eight consecutive months. In 2008 losses amounted to €875 million mostly due to depreciations.

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