Sareb Names Luis Martin Guirado the Transaction Executive

Sareb, Spain´s bad bank chaired by Belen Romana, hired Luis Martin Guirado for the office of the Legal Transactions Executive. The real estate expert, who prior to joining Sareb have been leading BNP Paribas Real Estate since 2007, will substitute Juan Barba who had announced an intention of stepping down earlier this year.

Mr Barba has been the most important director since the very creation of the bad bank. Although he is going to temporalily support his successor, he has received a six-month ban on cooperating with any entity that does business with Sareb.

Luis Martin Guirado started his high-level exective career in 1996 as the vice-president of Citibank, then he was given leadership over Private Banking at Credit Suisse. Later on, he spent four years performing the function of CEO for Asesoramiento Inmobiliario of Roan. Just before accepting Sareb´s offer he worked as the CEO of BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Original article: ExpansiónPro (by J. Z., 31 de Julio 2014, pp 14), El Mundo
Translation: AURA REE

Commercial Real Estate Investment Boom

31/07/2014 – ExpansionPro

The latest transactions involving the Anec Blau and the Albacenter shopping malls shall be added to a pool of commercial properties which have changed hands in the past twelve months in Spain.

“Investor´s appetite for shopping centers boosted at the end of 2013 but the turning point has come just now. Commercial real estate purchase figures multiplied by six if the first half of 2014 compared with H1 2013″, explains Gonzalo Senra, the Commercial Investment Director for CBRE.

According to a report by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the CRE accounted for around 38% of all transactions closed in the first half of the ongoing year. Thus, out of the total of €3.23 billion invested by the end of June, over €1 billion was spent on shops and shopping malls.

By the purchaser profile, institutional funds and REITs represented 64% of all. The biggest volume acquisitions crossed €100 million. To give an example, the El Boulevard shopping park in Vitoria was bought for €130 million, whereas the Gran Vía de Vigo unit, also sold by CBRE Global Investors, changed the owner for €113 million.

Original article: ExpansiónPro

Translation: AURA REE

Lar España Becomes the New Owner of the Albacenter Shopping Park

Lar España Real Estate Socimi has acquired a shopping mall in Albacete from Unibail Rodamco for €28.4 million.

Albacenter offers a 15.696 m² GLA (gross lettable area) distributed among 75 shops on two floors, as well as 1.223 parking spaces. The shopping park, first opened in 1996 and renewed in 2008 now registers a 76% occupancy.

The mall houses stores of Primark, H&M, Shana, Bershka and Eroski which is the co-owner of the property. Lar España plans to widen the fashion and entertainment offer of the center and add to its size.

This is the fourth purchase of the Socimi (Spanish REIT) realized since its flotation in March. Jointly, Lar has invested €101 million out of its €400 million IPO. Three shopping centers in Irun, Palencia and Albacete consumed €67.8 million, an office building in Madrid was bought for €24.2 million and a medium-size commercial asset also in the capital for €9.1 million.

Original article: Expansión
Translation: AURA REE

NH at the Verge of Selling Sotogrande to Cerberus For €225 Mn

31/07/2014 – ExpansionPro

NH Hotel Group nears signing a contract on transferring its real estate affiliate Sotogrande to Cerberus for €225 million. The transaction is expected to be nailed down within the next weeks.

However, still yesterday NH assured the National Stock Market Commission that sale of the asset which has been in the group´s hands since 2006 is not confirmed. The Sotogrande complex at stake stands in the city of San Roque (Cadiz). Thus, the outside-of-Spain projects, located in Italy, Mexico and in the Dominican Republic will remain in possession of NH but sooner or later they will be sold as well.

Likewise, NH will still rent the two 4* hotels situated inside the complex, totalling 254 rooms. The group will destine the proceeds from the sale for trimming its €801 million indebtness.


Original article: ExpansionPro (by Y. Blanco, 31 Julio 2014, pp 4)

Translation: AURA REE

Realia Weights Up the Offer of Colonial

31/07/2014 – ExpansionPro

Realia is willing to separate its offices grouped in Realia Patrimonio and sell them to Colonial. Due to lack of other bids, the real estate firm controlled by FCC and Bankia finds itself wondering how to meet the conditions set by Colonial together with the €650 million offer. Realia would have to conduct several divestments and restructure its debt. The decision must be made today.

According to sources familiar with the operation, the “process is incipent and the negotiations will be long and complex”.

Realia´s property manager owns 30 office buildings, among which one may find the Torre Realia in Madrid and its sister the Torre Realia in Barcelona. Most of the properties are located in the capital. At present, Realia also possesses eight shopping parks, such as the Ferial Plaza in Guadalajara or the La Noria Outlet Shopping in Murcia.

As Colonial´s activity focuses on office building rentals, one of the conditions suggests divestment in the shopping centers.

Although the firm´s offer was non-binding, both parties may be at the brink of sealing an exclusive transfer negotiation deal.


Original article: ExpansiónPro (by M. A., 31 de Julio 2014, pp 4)

Translation: AURA REE

Finance Increases Tax Deduction For Landlords

The tax reform blueprint version presented by the Government in June stated that the profits proceeding from property rental will be assigned to a 50% deduction on the Personal Income Tax. However, the final regulation rises the exemption to 60%.

Although the amendment means improvement inside the reform, in fact it does not change the present situation. Today, taxpayers already enjoys a 60% deduction, paying only 40% of the rental gains. And if their tenant is below 35, the landlords have got a right to a 100% exemption.

The blueprint establishes only one treshold of 60% which does not vary in line with the lessee´s age. As a consequence, the 100% deduction will disappear in 2015.

Moreover, the final regulation to be approved by the Council of Ministers tomorrow still rules out deduction for tenants. Thus, presently, a tenant has got right to a 10.05% tax relief on the rental payment with an annual cap of 9.040 Euros. The removal will not apply to existing rental agreements signed before 2015.

Original article: Cinco Días (by J. Viñas)
Translation: AURA REE

Bankia Markets €800 Mn in Real Estate-Backed Loans

31/07/2014 – Expansion

Vulture funds have become one of the best allies of Bankia found in the middle of restructuring. The entity chaired by Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri has sold to them large volume of non-core assets, gaining liquidity and squeezing default.

Following the suit, the nationalized group started-off a sale of non-performing loans lent to medium and big companies. Particular attraction of the portfolio lays in its collateral real estate assets and hotels. The operation, known as the “Amazon Project“, encompasses loans valued at €800 million.

The deal is a pioneer sale among the Spanish banks, following the footsteps of Eurohypo which has sold the “Octopus” portfolio to Lone Star and JPMorgan earlier this year.

Bankia is being advised on by Deloitte in the process.

The divestment splits into two portfolios:

1. Entirely real-estate: including 217 loans to medium-size firms with 133 properties as collaterals. Almost all of them are situated in the Valencian Community and Castille-La Mancha. None of the companies operates in the real estate sector but in industry or construction, putting warehouses, office buildings, plots and shops as warranties. In total, this part of the portfolio consists of 38 debtors with the total debt amounting to €431 million. On average, each firm owes €11.3 million.

2. Hotels only: on the other hand, Bankia trades 77 loans with collateral 43 hotels (ranging from 3* to 5*). They are mainly located in Catalonia, the Valencian Community and the Canary Islands. In total, 21 companies owe jointly €370 million.

The “Amazon” provides two pros for Bankia. Firstly, it cuts in the bank´s default and secondly, it will allow the entity to free equity for new credits instead of dumping it in management of NPLs.

Year-to-date, Bankia has reduced its toxic assets volume by €1.4 billion (0.7%) in regard to 2013. Now it posts 14%.

In the first quarter, the entity transferred a €715 million worth of delinquent credits to Elliot, Oaktree and Savia. Also, Bankia sold its holdings in 26 real estate companies to Blackstone and is at the verge of sealing a deal on REO and developer loan worth of €430 million.


Original article: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga & Y. Blanco)

Translation: AURA REE

Building Center Sells Five Properties to TPG For the Total of €43 Mn

31/07/2014 – Expansion

Building Center has closed the first sale of several real estate asset portfolios currently up for sale. The branch of CaixaBank has sold a package of five buildings to U.S. fund TPG for a joint €43.5 million.

They are two blocks of apartments located in Madrid and three commercial properties in Tenerife, Pamplona (Navarre) and Majorca.

TPG was selected by CaixaBank to share holding of the bank´s property servicer Servihabitat. The firm earned €106 million during the first half of the year, up 26%. Servihabitat manages a €43 billion worth of assets belonging both to Criteria, another arm of La Caixa, and to Building Center gathering CaixaBank´s foreclosures.

Building Center decided to speed the asset sales up by creating several portfolios of finished but still empty homes, dwellings for rent and land.

At the end of the first half of 2014, the company was disposing of a €6.75 billion in repossessed assets with a 53% coverage. In six months, it sold 11.456 properties for the total of €1.21 billlion, by 10% more.


Original article: Expansión (by S. Saborit), Ascri

RTV Says Residential Market Shows Tangible Evidence of Stabilization

31/07/2014 – Finanzas

Spanish real estate sector portrays “tangible stabilization symptoms”, such as rise in demand in comparison to the previous year or the slowdown in property value slump. However, recovery will move on “gradually” as the unemployment rate still goes through the roof and unsold housing stock consistutes a stumbling block for property sales.

These are findings of real estate advisor RTV which implicates “direct investment in quality assets in excellent locations, risk diversification and a long-term approach (min. five years) that are crucial to take advantage of the turn in tendency”.

Given all that, the company predicts the demand for homes will increase this year for the first time since 2010 and the new unit sales will go up for the first time since 2007.

“The improvement will be influenced by better lending conditions and economic activity, higher number of foreigners buying Spanish properties (mostly Europeans and Asians), a growth in betting on dwellings as a mean of investment, consequence of fall in prices and the abrupt reduction of return from other financial assets, as well as deposits and public debt”, RTV says.

Original article: Finanzas (after: Europa Press)

Translation: AURA REE

Colonial Leaves the Red Behind & Gains €559 Mn in H1 2014

30/07/2014 – Expansion

In the first half of the year, the real estate firm earned €559 million. To contrast, in the first half of 2013, Colonial saw only debt. The 180-degree turn took place thanks to separation and deconsolidation of its non-core business, namely the house and land development.

In the first half of 2014, the property manager registered a turnover by 2% smaller reaching to €105 million.

At the end of June, real estate portfolio of Colonial represented a €5.58 billion worth, by 4.4% larger than in January.

Its office buildings located in Spain appreciated in value by 3.6%, a phenomenon observed for the first time since the recession hit.

Colonial submitted an offer for Realia´s property branch, claiming it disposes of €790 million. The amount rises to €1 billion if the proceeds from its French arm SFL and the sale of a stake in SIIC de Paris taken into account.


Original article: Expansión

Translation: AURA REE