Blackstone has bought a loan portfolio from CatalunyaCaixa for €6.39bn.

CatalunyaCaixa said the sale of the portfolio of residential mortgages had triggered “major interest” from international investors, with 12 funds in the first round of bidding.

Blackstone paid €3.6bn for the portfolio, which it will transfer into a Spanish asset securitisation fund.

The portfolio will be managed by Blackstone subsidiary, Anticipa Real Estate, formerly CatalunyaCaixa Inmobiliaria, which Blackstone bought for €40m earlier this year.

Spain’s debt market continues to attract investors convinced the country is on its way to recovery.

Blackstone head of European real estate Ken Caplan said the firm continues to believe in the recovery of the Spanish economy and the housing market.

Last month, Appleton Capital Management said it was setting up a fund to acquire distressed real estate loans in Spain with a nominal value of more than €1bn.

The Dublin-based alternative investment manager is targeting €200m from investors for the Icciona Capital Partners fund to buy non-performing loans from Spanish banks at steep discounts before eventually selling the underlying properties.

Icciona will target the southern Andalucia region.

Spain’s traditional banks are still in sell-off mode, offloading real estate servicing platforms.

Apollo, Cerberus, Kennedy Wilson and TPG have all bought real-estate servicing platforms from Spain’s banks, including Santander, Bankia, Caixabank and Banco Popular Espanol.

It will be some time before SAREB, the country’s ‘bad bank’, clears its desks.

The bank, which in 2012 set itself a 15-year target to clear its books, continues to work through selling off real estate loans, properties and land.