7 July 2015 – Expansión
Overseas funds are becoming the new owners of banks’ problem homes and mortgages. In recent weeks, Bankia, BMN and Bankinter have all signed deals – or are close to doing so – to transfer almost 5,000 mortgages and 1,000 homes to five international funds.
These sales could just be the tip of the iceberg, since many of the banks currently have divestment projects underway, with the aim of transferring more than 50,000 homes to large investors.
The largest transaction to have gained momentum in recent days is Bankia’s Project Wind – the portfolio contains 4,300 mortgages to individual borrowers and it will be sold to the funds Oaktree and Chenavari. This sale is just awaiting its formal signing and the investors are expected to pay between €250 million and €300 million for the portfolio.
BMN has also finalised agreements in recent days, for the transfer of two portfolios. The first is Project Coronas, which contains 550 homes located all over Spain, but primarily in coastal (beach) regions. The US fund Apollo has acquired this portfolio for €16 million. It represents the fund’s first major purchase of this kind since it purchased 85% of the Altamira platform from Santander.
Moreover, the entity chaired by Carlos Egea (BMN) has also sold a portfolio of problem loans, including almost 500 mortgages, of which three quarters relate to individual borrowers and the remainder to SMEs. This project, known as Pampa, has been awarded to a fund that has so far had little presence in Spain: the US fund Ellington Management, which specialises in the purchase of overdue mortgages. This investor bought a small portfolio from Barclays in Spain a few years ago.
Meanwhile, Bankinter has closed the sale of 300 homes to the US fund Elliott. The portfolio was initially valued at €60 million. It is Elliott’s first property-related purchase; until now the fund had focused on the NPL segment through its Spanish platform Gesif.
With these kinds of transactions, overseas funds are looking to capitalise on their purchases of large real estate platforms, for which they have so far paid around €3,100 million.
With that in mind, the Spanish financial institutions have initiated the sale of other large foreclosed asset portfolios, such as Bankia’s Big Bang portfolio, with 46,000 real estate units. Sabadell and Popular will also sell portfolios of homes in the near future.
Besides the sale of mortgages and foreclosed assets, Spanish entities are selling large portfolios of loans to property developers and hotel debt, as part of their objective to continue divesting property from their balance sheets. Financial institutions such as Santander, BBVA and CaixaBank all have sales projects of this kind underway.
Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake