European CMBS loan maturities in March and April will lead to a rise in the number of loans that are now  in a standstill or going through a workout process, according to Fitch Ratings.

Fitch said that two loans will mature in March and a further 10 loans are scheduled to mature in April.

To date, only a small number of loans have recently paid in full at their scheduled maturity dates. According to Fitch of the €8 billion ($10 billion) of European CMBS loans that were scheduled to mature prior to March 2010, 69% by balance is still outstanding.

Only 6% were paid in full either at or shortly after loan maturity, while the remaining 24% were prepaid, typically prior to the onset of the credit crisis.

Half of all European CMBS loans that have passed their maturity dates and are still outstanding are in standstill or going through a workout process,” said Gioia Dominedo, senior director in Fitch's CMBS team. “The other half had their maturity dates extended, either through a pre-existing extension option or a loan modification. Fitch expects to continue to see loan extensions being used as an alternative to or as part of a loan workout."

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