Bank Of Spain: Default Rate Falls To 9.84% In May

19 July 2016 – Expansión

The default rate of loans granted by banks, savings banks and cooperatives to individuals and companies decreased to 9.84% in May, returning to a level not seen since July 2012, when it amounted to 9.86%, according to provisional data published on Monday by the Bank of Spain.

This figure includes a methodological change in the classification of Lending Institutions (Establecimientos Financieros de Crédito or EFCs), which are no longer considered within the same category as credit institutions.

The total doubtful debt figure fell to €126,152 million in May, down by €1,583 million from the previous month. In one year, the volume of doubtful loans has decreased by €27,999 million, equivalent to 18.16%.

In this way, the banks’ default rate has decreased by 3.76 percentage points with respect to the historical maximum recorded in December 2013, when it stood at 13.6%.

The decrease in the default rate has come about, in part, thanks to the continuation of the decline in the overall credit balance in the sector in May. Specifically, total loans decreased by €76,786 million, or 0.52%, to €1,281 billion. In YoY terms, overall credit has decreased by 5.06%.

If we exclude the methodological data, the NPL ratio stands at 10.04%, given that the loan balance in this scenario decreases to €1,256 billion.

In line with default rate, financial institutions have cut their provisions by €762 million with respect to the previous month, down to €74,664 million. A year ago, this “buffer” amounted to €91,836 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pontegadea’s Profits Doubled In 2014 To €182M

14 August 2015 – El País

Amancio Ortega’s property company Pontegadea closed 2014 with assets worth €5,593 million, an increase of €1,004 million compared with 2013. The company generated rental income of €182 million in 2014, compared with €93 million in 2013. Meanwhile, Pontegadea Inversiones, the parent company through which Ortega manages all of his investments, made a profit of €2,560 million.

Pontegadea Inmobiliaria’s revenues increased to €189 million last year, up by 10%. However, its profits doubled. According to the management report submitted by the real estate company to the Companies Registry, “the increase in profits was driven mainly by an improvement in the financial result, due to the positive evolution of the property market and favourable exchange rate differences”.

Ortega founded his real estate company in 2002. Its head office is in Arteixo (A Coruña), which is also home to the headquarters of Inditex, the company that owns fashion chains such as Zara and Massimo Dutti, which converted Ortega into a millionaire. (…).

Landlord to global brands

Pontegadea’s core business is the lease of buildings. In fact, it is the landlord to some of the world’s most famous brands, such as Apple in Plaza de Cataluña in Barcelona, Primark’s new store on Gran Vía in Madrid and a multitude of Zara stores throughout Europe. Through its leases, it had committed receipts worth €433 million in 2014; less than in 2013, when they amounted to €571 million.

The company has transferred all of the profit it made in 2014 to its voluntary reserves, i.e. to increase Pontegadea Inmobiliaria’s cash balance. In total, the company owes credit institutions €55 million. And its liability balance is fairly small, given the sector in which it operates, but it has increased by 71% in just one year. The majority of its commitments are short term, with €412 million due to mature within one year.

Ortega’s interest in property represents a small part of his huge investments. Pontegadea Inmobiliaria is accountable to Pontegadea Inversiones, the parent company that organises all of his activities. He also receives revenues from his shareholdings in Inditex (which he owns through Gartler and Partler). He also owns real estate subsidiaries in the UK, Mexico, France and Canada, as well as a biotechnology firm. According to the consolidated accounts, the group ended the year with assets amounting to €21,519 million, an increase of €2,182 million. Its revenues amounted to €18,362 million (up by 8.3%) and its profits increased by 2.1% to €2,560 million.

Original story: El País (by Cristina Delgado)

Translation: Carmel Drake