17/03/2014 – El Confidencial
Banco Popular tripled property sales during two first months of the year. The entrance of Kennedy Wilson and Värde Partners in Aliseda´s stake provoked an 180º turn in the bank´s property sale policy. By now, Ángel Ron has been much more conservative in applying discounts and cleansing balance sheets from real estate assets than his colleagues from the field, like Sabadell or Santander do.
In January and February jointly, Popular sold properties worth €131 million, juxtaposed with the €46 million earned last year. That is a 185% growth. According to the bank there were 733 units, out of which 451 were houses, 60 trading premises, 175 garages and storage rooms and 47 plots. In 2013, the entity shed 4.289 assets sold for €774 million.
Sold to whom? Well, 20% of all the properties were bought by foreigners (mostly the British and the Russian) and 80% by national investors.
The jump in sales shall be assigned to the recent Aliseda´s stake purchases by two funds specialized in distressed debt (Värde Partners) and real estate investments (Kennedy Wilson). Popular sold 51% of its managing branch for €815 million.
In the light of the numbers, the turn in strategy seem to have been imminent. (…) Now, Popular cuts prices by 30% off and, especially in the region of Toledo, it gambles on rent (300 out of 580 houses found a tenant).
The bank put up on sale 10.614 units at average discount of 12%. Out of these, 5.332 are dwellings (31 tourist apartments and 336 houses, 700 villas and 4.265 flats). About 30% of the units are found in Andalusia, 17% in Valencia and 13% in Catalonia.
Moreover, Banco Popular reinforced marketing through companies based across Spain. (…)
Original article: El Confidencial (Elena Sanz)
Translation: AURA REE