11/03/2014 – El Economista
Last year, main real estate companies belonging to the biggest Spanish banks (namely, to BBVA, Caixabank, Santander, Sabadell and Popular) recapitalized huge amounts to gobble down thousands of awarded properties, absorp losses and cleanse their balance sheets in accordance to criteria imposed by regulatory organizations. All of them amassed at least a dozen of transactions bringing in €8.900 million (…).
CaixaBank involves greater amounts into the divestment, injected during two operations: €2.500 million in BuildingCenter and other transactions for €322 millones in Vip Gestión de Inmuebles. (…).
However, the winner is BBVA with a €4.000 million injection into Anida that helped the real estate company not only overcome debt but also redesign own funds. (…).
Santander´s decision to join its own property with the assets proceeding from Banif within Altamira enlarged its capital by €988 million. Likewise, Popular´s Aliseda carried out various operations for €593 million at reception of portfolios from Pastor bank. In turn, Sabadell injected €100 million in Solvia and €400 million in issue prime.
The regulation obliged the banks to separate their toxic assets and transfer them to specialized branches, similarly to the cleansing methods of the bad bank, Sareb.
Still, the real estate branches are uncertain. The five main branches of the aforementioned banks registered around €5.080 million losses in 2013 (…).
The interest rate, maximized in order to speed up divestment, has evoked diverse reactions. On the one hand, the entities tend to accumulate provisions higher than the required: 35% in case of finished, 65% on under construction houses and 80% on land, offering significant discounts to avoid going bankrupt.
Presently, seeking specialists to whom real estate platform loaded with awarded assets could be transferred, became trendy. Popular was the last to sell 51% of Aliseda to Kennedy Wilson and Värde Partners for €815 million. Before, Santander shed 85% of Altamira by selling it to Apollo for €664 million, while CaixaBank handed Servihabitat over for €310 million to TPG. BBVA is not going to follow them and Sabadell would rather incorporate an industrial partner without losing the management.
The banquers are quite positive about the market development throughout 2015. General trust in the interest of international funds turning to Spain drives divestments up. However, economical recovery seems still too weak to reverse the unpayment avalanche, therefore seizures and awarding of houses will persist.
Original article: El Economista (E. Contreras)
Translation: AURA REE