npl-reo Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Haya Prepares to Make Redundancies After its Contract with Sareb was Reduced

20 January 2020 - Expansión

Haya Real Estate, the servicer owned by the US fund Cerberus, is preparing to make redundancies after the scope of its contract with Sareb was reduced at the end of last year. The extent of the cuts are not yet clear but Haya, which employs more than 1,200 people, will begin conversations with the unions this week.

Following the renegotiation of its contract with Sareb, Haya now manages a portfolio of loans and properties worth around €8.4 billion for the bad bank, which is 30% smaller than before. Moreover, the servicer will now be remunerated by Sareb on a success fee basis, i.e. on the basis of the number of homes it sells.

Haya is the first of the 4 servicers to renegotiate its contract with Sareb. The other operators, Solvia, Altamira and Servihabitat, will all see their contracts come up for renewal in 2021.

Meanwhile, Cerberus has been trying to exit Haya, which it has owned for 6 years, first by listing it on the stock market and then by selling it, but neither approach has proved successful.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro and R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain's Banks Prepare for a Mass Sale of Refinanced Mortgages Ahead of a European Regulatory Change

14 January 2020 - Expansión

Spain’s large banks are preparing for the mass sale of refinanced mortgage portfolios to opportunistic investment funds over the course of this year, ahead of a European regulatory change that will come into effect from January 2021. The new rules will require most refinanced debt to be classified as non-performing loans, which will impose more onerous capital requirements on the entities holding those assets.

Refinanced mortgages are those whose borrowers are currently up to date with their repayments but whose terms (economic conditions or duration) have been adjusted to avoid defaulted payments.

In the year to September 2019, Spain’s eight listed banks (Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Bankia, Sabadell, Bankinter, Unicaja and Liberbank) removed problem loans amounting to almost €37 million from their balance sheets. No detailed figures are compiled about refinanced mortgages, but sources in the sector estimate that a new market worth thousands of millions of euros could be generated as a result of the upcoming legislative change.

According to the new criteria to be introduced by the European Central Bank, refinanced loans will be classified as non-performing if the associated income generated by them falls by more than 1% as a result of the new terms of the loan. With such a strict threshold, almost all such loans will, therefore, be classified as non-performing.

In this context, a new market is expected to emerge whereby the banks try to divest portfolios of refinanced mortgages that are still considered healthy, but at lower prices.

The likely winners will be opportunistic funds, such as Cerberus, Blackstone and Lone Star, which typically buy doubtful assets with average discounts of 70%, and go on to generate double-digit returns through a combination of synergies and economies of scale.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Real Estate is Cool

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