28 March 2019 – Cinco Días
Sareb recorded losses of €878 million in 2018, which were 55% greater than those registered in the previous year. Moreover, the bad bank forecasts a similar result for this year.
Despite the disappointing results, Sareb ended 2018 with own funds of €2.6 billion, which represents a sufficient volume to not have to request any capital increase from its shareholders, which include most of Spain’s major banks and the FROB.
The President of the bad bank, Jaime Echegoyen, observed that his company is committed to the divestment of the problem assets that it acquired from the struggling banks during the crisis, and to maximise its returns. Sareb is competing against many of the banks, which are now selling large portfolios of real estate assets at significant discounts. Nevertheless, it is reluctant to match those discounts given that its cost of managing the assets is lower than the discounts being asked for.
Instead, Sareb has opted to transform the assets it owns by finishing suspended developments and building new homes on the land that it owns. Within the coming days, the company is expected to close an agreement with a property developer, which will build new assets on some of its land.
At the end of 2018, the bad bank recorded total revenues of €3.65 billion, down by 5% YoY. It sold 21,152 units during the year, up by 12% YoY. But, it continued to incur significant expenses – its financial costs alone amounted to €658 million, whilst its operating expenses amounted to €697 million, resulting in the aforementioned losses.
Since its creation in 2012, Sareb has now reduced its global portfolio by one third (€16.5 billion) and repaid 30% of the debt that it issued to pay for the assets in the first place (€15 billion).
Original story: Cinco Días (by Ángeles Gonzalo Alconada)
Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake