Spanish bank Santander has sought regulatory permission to freeze payouts from its main real-estate fund after investors sought to withdraw 80% of the vehicle’s capital at once.

The bank, the biggest in the eurozone by market value, said in a regulatory filing yesterday that the Santander Banif Inmobiliario FII fund, the country’s biggest, 'currently lacks the necessary liquidity' to meet redemption demands worth €2.62bn ($3.35bn), or 80% of the fund’s value at the end of January.

Santander is seeking authorisation to suspend full reimbursements from the fund for two years, while it 'starts an orderly programme of disposals'.

Financial Times