Hispania Closes Best Trading Period Of The Year

20 July 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi has completed its best trading period of the year – its share price exceed has exceeded €14 for the first time and it has overtaken Merlin in terms of profitability.

Discretely, whilst two of its competitors are hitting the headlines with significant capital increases (Merlin Properties is raising €1,033 million for pay for its purchase of Testa; whilst Lar is looking to raise the more modest figure of €135 million), the Socimi Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios has been recording its best numbers of the year on the stock exchange and has become the most profitable company in an emerging sector that is attracting some of the largest investors in the world.

Before experiencing a slight decline of 0.78% last Friday, the Socimi led by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio had recorded six consecutive days of increases, taking its share price to over €14 for the first time, a new historical high for the group that is now worth almost €1,150 million on the stock exchange.

It has been the best trading period of the year for Hispania, whose share price has increased by 28.3% since the start of 2015, and means that the company has replaced Merlin (whose share price has increased by 25.2%) as the Socimi whose share price has appreciated by the most in 2015…Meanwhile, Axiare’s price has increased by 10.5% and Lar by 8.2%.

The stock’s rally is generating profits for the group’s largest shareholders. And the gains are being shared by both historical shareholders, those who acquired shares at €10/share when the Socimi debuted on the stock exchange in 2014 (George Soros is the largest shareholder with a stake of 16.7%, followed by John Paulson’s investment fund, which owns 9.85%; the Dutch pension fund APG and the fund that specialises in this kind of company Cohen&Steers have also owned stakes in the company from the start), as well as those that joined as a result of the €337 million accelerated capital increase that was closed in April (such as BW Gestao de Investimentos, Fidelity, CBRE Clarion and Novo Viseu).

There was significant demand for the placement, which was completed in just three hours; demand amounted to €844 million, which meant that the requests for shares exceeded supply by more than two times. Market sources say that many funds were left wanting to buy more shares and have since gone to the market to make those purchases. And other new companies are hooked on the stock as its price continues to increase.

The result is that the stock’s rally, as well as the capital increase, has allowed Hispania (which operates as a pure Socimi, but still retains its structure as an ordinary limited company to afford greater flexibility to its investments) to almost double its market value since the end of last year, when it stood at less than €600 million.

The trading volume has gone through the roof in the last two sessions. Almost 600,000 shares have changed hands, which is well above the average daily volume in July. With its charged portfolio following the capital increase in April, Hispania’s corporate activity is frenetic. Last month, the company acquired two hotels in the Canary Islands for €105 million. A few days later, it announced the purchase of two office buildings in Madrid for €54.4 million from the German company Deka.

Original story: Expansión (by Enrique Utrera)

Translation: Carmel Drake