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Spain's bad loans ratio rises to 12.7 percent in Sept

A Spanish flag flies next to the headquarters of Bankia bank in Madrid July 24, 2012. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish banks' bad loans as a percentage of total lending rose to 12.7 percent in September from 12.1 percent in August, marking a new high, Bank of Spain data showed on Monday.

The ratio has been steadily climbing as households and small companies struggle with debts and as banks, fighting to improve their own capital quality ahead of new stress tests, rein in lending.

Spain's economy emerged from a two-year recession in the third quarter, although many analysts and bankers forecast that bad loans will not peak until 2014.

Bad debts rose by 6.9 billion euros ($9.3 billion) to 187.8 billion euros in September, while total credit fell by 8.9 billion euros to 1.5 trillion euros, the data showed.

(Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Tracy Rucinski)