10 August 2018
The tourism sector, where both banks operate through specialised units, is one of the principal motors of loan investment.
The growth of Spain’s tourism sector has become one of the main levers for loan-based investments. CaixaBank and Banco Sabadell have found a powerful platform for increasing their turnover in the renovation of the country’s hotels and the continuous buying and selling of establishments in an industry that has made Spain the second most visited country in the world after France.
During the first half of the year, CaixaBank and Sabadell extended a total of 1.446 billion euros in loans to the hotel sector. The bank headed by Gonzalo Gortázar lent €942.5 million to the hospitality industry between January and June, a growth of 36% over the same period of the previous year (€692 million). The figure easily exceeded the bank’s target growth of 20%.
CaixaBank’s financing included 1,618 operations that went primarily to the Balearic Islands (€400 million), Catalonia (€109 million) and Madrid (€164 million). Madrid, where the bank saw the greatest growth in its concession of loans, increasing by 250%, compared to growth of 16% and 43% in the Balearic Islands and Catalonia.
In total, Caixabank saw a business volume of €4.542 billion from the tourism sector, where it has a portfolio of 8,927 customers. In 2017, the bank created a specialised division of 30 professionals to manage its business in the sector, called CaixaBank Hoteles & Tourism, which has since signed 20 agreements with Spanish hotel associations and federations.
For its part, Sabadell was a pioneer in creating its Sabadell Tourism Business division in 2014, which allowed it to grow by double digits ever since. During the first quarter of this year, the bank managed by Jaume Guardiola provided 504 million euros in financing to hotels, an 8.5% increase. Similarly, it has increased spending by 16% to manage a volume of business for the sector of €3.55 billion. According to the bank, the division’s total number of clients has risen to 14,582.
CaixaBank has increased its concession of loans to hotels by 36%, to €942 million in the year to June
Sabadell saw growth of 8.5% in its loans, extending credit worth €504 million
Although it foresees “a moderate slowdown” in growth, CaixaBank Research forecasts an increase of 3.4% in tourism-based GDP growth in 2018, higher than that of the Spanish economy as a whole, which is estimated at 2.8%. According to the research centre, the average hotel occupancy in Spain stood at 53% between January and May, compared to 53.3% during the previous year, due to a moderation in the rate of arrival of foreign tourists. Even so, the bank expects international visitors to increase by 3% in 2018 and 1% in 2019, reaching 85 million, compared to 81.8 million in 2017. Investment by the sector to improve hotel quality has resulted in the fact that these days, four- and five-star hotels account for 51.7% of beds in Spain, compared to 48.6% in May 2014.
Original Story: Expansión
Translation: Richard Turner