CaixaBank Injects Another €1,900M Into BuildingCenter

6 April 2015 – Expansión

Over the last two years, the bank has invested €4,400 million in its subsidiary, which owns properties that have been foreclosed (by CaixaBank) following the non-payment of debt.

The property sector is still taking its toll on CaixaBank. In 2014, the entity had to inject another €1,900 million in BuildingCenter, the company in which the bank places all of the real estate assets that it forecloses in exchange for (the cancelation of) debt.

This new contribution of funds responds to the need for BuildingCenter to restore the equity balance of its balance sheet, due to the losses generated by these assets, which are managed and marketed by ServiHabitat, the real estate platform owned by TPG (51%) and CaixaBank (49%). BuildingCenter generated a loss of €1,280 million in 2014.

Typically, the bank chaired by Isidro Fainé, rebalances BuildingCenter’s (balance sheet) through capital increases. However, this time, the €1,900 million has been injected into the Catalan group’s bad bank in the form of a “non-refundable monetary contribution from the sole shareholder”. This means that the money forms part of its restricted reserve, and therefore, constitutes the own funds of the company, just like its capital. In 2013, CaixaBank also used this formula to transfer another €750 million to the real estate company.

The BuildingCenter’s last capital increase was also conducted in 2013, for €1,250 million, plus an issue premium of €500 million. Therefore, if we sum the three contributions, CaixaBank has invested €4,400 million in total in BuildingCenter in just two years.

In parallel, over the last two years, the bank has made provisions for the impairment (of its investment in) BuildingCenter amounting to €2,233 million. In 2013, it made provisions amounting to €1,101 million and last year, it made provisions for a further €1,132 million. The NPL ratio of the real estate company is 58.7%.

Financing

According to CaixaBank’s annual report, the financing granted by the bank to its subsidiary BuildingCenter, amounted to €9,268 million at 31 December 2014, i.e. 16% more (than a year earlier).

In total, the net book value of the BuildingCenter’s real estate assets amounted to €6,515 million, i.e. 8% more than in 2013. 73% of that figure related to properties that the company had foreclosed from construction companies and property developers in exchange for the non-payment of debt.

Homes resulting from the foreclosure of individual mortgages accounted for 15% of the portfolio, amounting to €1,000 million.

In 2014, CaixaBank (successfully) marketed 23,400 properties, including sales and rentals, for €2,512 million, i.e. 15% more (than a year earlier). The occupancy rate of the rental portfolio amounts to 87%.

Finally, last year, BuildingCenter took over General de Inversiones Tormes and the company VIP Gestión de Inmuebles, which it inherited from Banco de Valencia.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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