2 October 2017 – Cinco Días
Spain’s banks are reducing their exposure to the real estate sector, step by step, under pressure from the European Central Bank and the Bank of Spain. Five entities plus Sareb are currently preparing portfolios to divest some of their properties, worth almost €6,000 million in total.
Most of the portfolios include doubtful loans or NPLs (non-performing loans) although in some cases, they also include real estate assets, most of which have been foreclosed.
After selling Popular’s assets to Blackstone, Santander is now preparing to sell a portfolio, dubbed Titán by the entity chaired by Ana Botín, through the platform Altamira that it shares with Apollo. The portfolio is worth around €400 million, according to sources familiar with the process, and is being structured as an “online shop window”, open to all potential buyers. The bank received an enormous boost in August with the sale of 51% of Popular’s real estate (primarily NPLs and foreclosed assets), which the market saw as an agile and firm response following the purchase of Popular.
Meanwhile, BBVA is managing so-called Project Sena, involving the sale of a portion of Anida to Cerberus for €400 million. Nevertheless, the market considers that the bank may end up getting rid of the entire Anida business. The bank submitted a statement to the CNMV on Thursday confirming that “it is holding conversations with Cerberus Capital”, although it made clear that no agreement has been reached yet. The nominal value of that portfolio of properties amounts to around €1,100 million. The operation follows in the footsteps of the portfolio known as Jaipur, purchased by the same fund in July.
Caixabank is also preparing two other portfolios. The first, known as Tribeca, amounting to €500 million, will come onto the market within the next few days and will mainly comprise residential assets. The second, known as Egeo, for €660 million, comprises €440 million of unsecured loans and €220 million secured by a mix of real estate assets. The entity expects to receive binding offers very soon, according to market sources.
One of the largest projects on the market has been launched by Sabadell; it is known as Voyager and amounts to €800 million. It contains some problem loans to property developers and the remainder corresponds to other sectors, such as hotels. This portfolio is almost a second part of the project known as Traveller, which the entity sold recently to Bain. The bank is expecting to receive offers in October and wants to close the process in December, according to sources familiar with the process.
Liberbank is also preparing another portfolio, containing non-performing loans, known as Invictus, with a value of €700 million, of which 50% relates to residential.
Finally, Sareb has already put a portfolio called Inés on the market, amounting to almost €500 million, which is in its closing phase. And the so-called bad bank is now preparing its first online loan sales project, initially dubbed Dubai, containing around €400 million. Moreover, the market is also expecting it to launch the sale of another portfolio amounting to €300 million, named Tambo, within the next few days (…).
Although the banks have been criticised for the slow rate of reduction of their real estate portfolios, experts indicate that they are now operating at an acceptable cruising speed (…).
The potential buyers of these portfolios (…) include Apollo, Oaktree, Bain, Cerberus, Blackstone, Lone Star, Castlelake, Värde Partners, Lindorff, TPG and Goldman Sachs.
Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake