4 July 2016 – Expansión
Deutsche Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to the Spanish real estate market despite instability in the markets caused by Brexit. Last week, funds from the German entity sealed the acquisition of almost €400 million in doubtful property developer loans from Bankia.
This is the second transaction of its kind that Deutsche Bank has signed with Bankia in just six months. At the end of 2015, it acquired just over €600 million in unpaid company loans, backed by real estate collateral. In this way, the German bank became the owner of at least one hundred loans linked to property that had originated on Bankia’s balance sheet.
Sources in the market estimate that Deutsche Bank could have paid just under €150 million for this latest operation, known as Project Ocean.
With these types of portfolios, funds are typically looking for loans that give them relatively easy access to real estate collateral, either through legal foreclosures or agreements with the borrowers.
These deals allow the vendor entities to reduce their default rates; lower their risk-weighted assets; generate gains, in some cases; and focus their resources on granting new, profitable, loans.
In fact, Bankia is close to completing another major divestment within the next few days, with the transfer of 2,500 flats to the fund Sankaty, the subsidiary of the US giant Bain Capital. These properties have been valued at between €300 million and €400 million.
A new star
This investor has become the largest purchaser of problem assets from the banks (in Spain) in 2016. In this way, in addition to Bankia’s portfolio, Sankaty signed another two acquisitions last week: Project Pirene, comprising €460 million in problem assets linked to property developers, from Sabadell; and Project Baracoa, containing 2,400 loans to bankrupt companies, worth €530 million, from Cajamar.
Sector sources say that these operations prove that investors are still interested in Spain, even through Brexit has made the financing of these purchases more difficult.
Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)
Translation: Carmel Drake