Sareb´s Chairwoman Reckons “There Are No Good Or Bad Assets, Everything Depends on the Price”

26/06/2014 – Expansion

Belen Romana, the chairwoman of Spain´s bad bank which pools all toxic assets of nationalized banks, has told that “perception of the country has radically changed over the past months” and the vivid interest in assets shown by investors has shot up significantly.

“In 2013, we have held meetings with more than 600 both financial and property investors, almost 2 per day, and the pace is still sustained” assured Romana at the Most Powerful Women Summit 2014 organized by the Fortune magazine in London.

She admitted to be targeting at rapid sales and stated “the assets are not either bad or good because what really matters, is the price. When it is good, the asset seems good as well”.

At her hearing, Romana had to explain what the Sareb is and how was the first and a half year of its lifespan. “Our company was born with a misguiding name: we are not a bank and if you begin called ´the bad bank´that does not give a nice outlook either. We have inherited troubles made by others and (…) we had to contruct a plane already being in the air”.

The chairwoman said she accepted the position for two reasons: firstly, she felt she had to do something more for her country and secondly, because she knew well how to deal with the mix of public and private issues thanks to her professional experience. Belen Romana worked as a director of the Treasury and an advisor at such entities as Banesto, Acerinox, the Bank of Spain and the CNMV (Spanish Stock Market Commission). She was also a strategical director of telecommunications supplier Ono.

 Sareb manages a €50 billion worth of assets, out of which only 20% are of the real estate type, while the rest are financial assets.

Asked about her cooperation with hedge funds, she told “our most challenging task is to set the rules at the game because we are going to stay in the market for the next 15 years.

Original article: Expansión (by Amparo Polo)

Translation: AURA REE