Bankia Finalises Sale of its Largest Toxic Asset Portfolio to Lone Star

14 December 2018 – El Confidencial

Bankia is finalising the sale of the largest portfolio of problem assets in its history. The nationalised entity is holding exclusive negotiations with the US fund Lone Star for the sale of projects Earth and October, according to financial sources consulted by El Confidencial. Sources at Bankia have confirmed those conversations through a relevant event submitted to Spain’s National Securities and Market Commission (CNMV) and have said that “once the negotiations have been concluded, the market will be informed about them in detail”.

This macro-sale includes unpaid mortgage loans and properties worth around €3 billion. The negotiations are in a very advanced stage and the operation could be signed before the end of the year. The price could reach €1 billion, according to the average prices being paid in the market at the moment.

The group chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri has sold these macro-portfolios taking advantage of the surplus liquidity in the market and the appetite from large funds for buying Spanish property. With this sale, the nationalised group will end 2018 with problem assets sold worth more than €5.5 billion – by September, it had sold €2.4 billion – almost doubling the annual divestment objective of €2.9 billion.

Lone Star has competed in this process head to head against Blackstone, which in recent weeks has lost the battle for the two portfolios to its US rival. The fund has redoubled its commitment to Spain after the changes that it underwent at the beginning of the year, with the departure of Juan Pepa and Felipe Morenés. These two executives led Lone Star during its purchase of Neinor and of the portfolio of large loans from Eurohypo in Spain.

Following those divestments and the raising of new funds, the fund is now betting on Spanish property again through its team in London. Bankia’s portfolio will be the second major operation after its purchase of a large proportion of CaixaBank’s assets and that entity’s platform Servihabitat.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lone Star Appoints Donald Quintin to Lead its European Business

27 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Lone Star is reordering its management team across Europe, including in Spain. Following the departure from the fund of one of its strong men, Juan Pepa, the company has appointed Donald Quintin to lead its business in the old continent (Europe). Mr Quintin, a former director of Hudson Advisors and Vinson and Elkins, is now going to take over the role of CEO for Lone Star in Europe.

Despite this change in its leadership, Lone Star is nevertheless pushing ahead to close operations that it had open in the Spanish market, and is also undoing positions in the real estate business in the country. Those include the sale of the last major asset of Project Octopus, a portfolio comprising more than €4 billion in real estate loans from Eurohypo in Spain and Portugal, which the US fund acquired together with JP Morgan three years ago.

Also, at the end of last year, the fund sold the former headquarters of Fecsa-Endesa in Cataluña, a building measuring 35,000 m2, whose three chimneys form part of Barcelona’s skyline and regarding which it is negotiating exclusively with the Tramway group and the German vehicle Indigo Capital.

That property has been empty for five years and has both environmental and change of use problems, which have conditioned its sale. Constructed on the site of a former coal generation plant dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century, it may be converted into an office building in the short term and could attract attention from coworking giants or large groups looking to set up their headquarters in Barcelona, according to sources in the sector.

But the move that caught the most attention in the real estate sector was Lone Star’s exit from the share capital of Neinor Homes following that firm’s debut on the stock market. The US fund completed the accelerated placement amongst institutional investors of 9.85 million shares in Neinor Homes in January, representing 12.5% of its share capital and worth €174 million.

After concluding that operation, Lone Star’s presence in Neinor Homes, a company that it had controlled in its entirety prior to its stock market debut, was reduced to a token 0.4% or 350,918 shares in total, which it held onto in order to agree the terms and conditions of the incentive plan for “certain directors and key employees”.

In practice, this sale represented the exit of Lone Star from the real estate developer that it had constituted just three years ago, in 2015, with assets purchased from Kutxabank. The divestment was completed before Neinor had the chance to celebrate its one year anniversary as a listed company, after it made its stock market debut at the end of March 2017.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Buys Rivas Futura Shopping Centre for €62M

6 February 2018 – Expansión

The Socimi in which Pimco holds a stake has purchased the Rivas Futura shopping complex, in the Madrilenian town of the same name, for €62 million.

Lar España has completed its first investment of 2018. The Socimi, whose largest shareholder is the fund manager Pimco, has completed the purchase of the Rivas Futura shopping complex, located in the Madrilenian town of Rivas.

Inaugurated in 2016, this complex was promoted by the real estate firm Avantis, and became a reference in Madrid, with a surface area spanning more than 55,000 m2 and first-class tenants such as Media Markt, Conforama and Toys R Us. Next to the retail park, the same real estate firm constructed a large office complex and a shopping centre called H2Ocio. Recently, that shopping centre also changed hands, with the manager CBRE Global Investors acquiring 70% of the property.

In 2008, Avantis’ liquidity problems meant that it had to find a new owner for the complex. The real estate subsidiary of Axa spent €81 million to buy the centre at that time. Years later, the fund Lone Star was awarded the park as part of Project Octopus, formed by loans from the German bank Eurohypo.

Now, the Socimi managed by the real estate group Lar has become its new owner, after paying €61.6 million to the most recent owner: Credit Suisse.

With this new investment, Lar España has become the largest operator of retail parks in Spain, with more than 150,000 m2 in its portfolio. Its flagship assets include the Megapark complex in Barakaldo, where the Socimi owns both the Megapark shopping centre and the factory outlet (acquired for €170 million), as well as the leisure area; that operation was closed at the end of October.

This purchase also represents the first acquisition of a commercial asset by the Socimi in Madrid, where it already owns a luxury housing development, Lagasca 99, as well as two office buildings. At the end of last year, Lar España put its office portfolio, comprising four assets and worth €170 million, up for sale. Since then, it has sold two of the assets, both located in Madrid and both sold to the same buyer: the real estate firm Colonial.

During the first nine months of 2017, Lar España generated profits of €72.2 million, up by 55% compared to a year earlier, after earning €57.2 million, up by 36%.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Neo: Lone Star Negotiates Sale of Former Fecsa-Endesa HQ in Barcelona

28 November 2017 – El Confidencial

Lone Star is on the verge of closing another chapter in its history, with the sale of the last major asset that forms part of Project Octopus, a portfolio comprising more than €4,000 million in real estate loans from the bank Eurohypo in Spain and Portugal, which the US fund acquired three years ago, in conjunction with JP Morgan.

The asset in question is the former headquarters of Fecsa-Endesa in Cataluña, a building with a surface area of 35,000 m2, whose three chimneys form part of Barcelona’s skyline and regarding which, it is holding exclusive negotiations with the joint forces of the Tramway group and the German vehicle Indigo Capital.

The conversations are now in the home stretch and may even be closed this afternoon, according to sources familiar with the process, although they also indicate that a second finalist is waiting in the wings, which could take over if these negotiations do not end up proving fruitful.

This operation marks another step forward in Lone Star’s strategy to unwind its positions in the Spanish real estate market, following the sale of the rest of Project Octopus and of the property developer Neinor Homes. That company debuted on the stock market in the spring and following several share sales, the US fund now only controls a 13% stake. Moreover, it goes against the grain of the current situation in the real estate market in Cataluña, which has all but come to a standstill due to the ‘independentista’ challenge.

This property, which has been empty for five years, has both environmental and change of use problems, which have certainly conditioned its sale. Constructed on the site of an old coal generation plan at the beginning of the 20th century, the subsoil of the plot contains impurities from the former coal and gas operations, which constitute the main risk to this operation and which have convinced other interested parties to withdraw from the process.

Impact of the sovereign challenge

In addition, the property has a key 4 urban planning rating, which restricts its use to public services with a technical component. In fact, its former owner, Grupo Sanjosé, which acquired the building from Endesa in a “sale & leaseback” operation, did not manage to resolve the change of use, which allowed Lone Star to execute the debt linked to the building in 2015.

And so on and so forth, because the sovereign crisis in Cataluña was about to bring down the process, launched in September and managed by JLL, in which firms such as Meridia, Colonial, Oaktree, Tristan, GreenOak, Värde and Stoneweg expressed an interest, according to sources.

In the end, only two candidates have submitted bids, for around €20 million, and the winner will likely have to double that investment figure in order to be able to carry out all of the renovation work that this asset requires to be in a position to generate value again.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Juan Pepa Leaves Lone Star For Pastures New

7 November 2017 – El Confidencial

Juan Pepa was the first person to seriously back the Spanish property development market and, having reaped the rewards, the Argentinian director has decided that now is time for a change of scenery. Mr Pepa (pictured below left), leader of Lone Star in Spain, will hand over control of the US fund next month, to undertake new projects in the country from January onwards, according to sources familiar with his decision. The man himself declined to comment on the news.

With Mr Pepa’s departure, a cycle closes in the real estate market. Having starred in many of the large property-related operations in the Spanish market in recent years, the jewel in his crown was the creation of the property developer Neinor. It was the first firm of its kind to debut on the stock market in almost a decade, and it has seen its share price appreciate by 9% since it first listed in March.

Lone Star created that housing giant after acquiring Kutxabank’s real estate business, in December 2014, for €930 million, an operation that represented the largest sale of a real estate company in Spain since 2007. A year later, the company debuted on the stock market with a capitalisation of €1,300 million.

Mr Pepa’s commitment to the Iberian peninsula has allowed Lone Star to become one of the major players in the economic recovery, a prize that came after it had dared to buy assets at the height of the crisis when most other funds were withdrawing.

Project Octopus

It was in this context that Mr Pepa managed to secure another one of his key milestones, the purchase of Eurohypo’s Spanish real estate together with JP Morgan. Baptised as Project Octopus, this portfolio comprised more than €4,000 million real estate loans in Spain and Portugal.

One of the assets that the firm ended up controlling as a result of this purchase was the Adequa office complex, which was owned by Bami until Lone Star executed the debt that it held and opened a process to sell the property. The buyer was another one of the main players that has turned the sector around, Merlin, with an offer of €380 million.

In Portugal, Lone Star has just completed the purchase of 75% of Novo Banco, another one of the legacies that Mr Pepa will leave behind. Many investors expect to soon see a recovery in Portugal similar to the one already being enjoyed in Spain.

In fact, in addition to the assets from Octopus, in recent years, the fund has taken other positions in the neighbouring country, such as a 2,000-hectare plot of land that it acquired from Catalunya Banca in the Algarve for €200 million.

Despite all of these achievements, Juan Pepa leaves Lone Star with the bitter taste after he was unable to win his last big battle: the €30,000-million portfolio of toxic assets from Banco Popular that Santander sold in the summer. His fund had featured amongst the favourites but the portfolio ended up being awarded to another investment giant: Blackstone.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone’s Real Estate Empire in Spain

6 August 2017

The US giant controls at least 100,000 real estate assets in Spain through dozens of companies. Most of the properties are in Catalonia. When it finally completes the purchase of the Popular’s real estate portfolio, Blackstone will become the largest property development company in Spain, ahead of Sareb.

Few ordinary people have heard of Blackstone. Even when asked about it, this firm sounds more like a private mercenary company (Blackwater) than what it is: one of the largest asset managers in the world and the largest foreign investor in Spanish property.

The fund is a silent giant, with dozens of companies linked to the real estate market, of which three are publicly traded. It manages around 100,000 real estate assets, of which at least 10,000 are flats for rent and social housing (VPOs). Blackstone has also has just agreed to one of the largest real estate acquisitions in history: 51% of Banco Popular’s property portfolio. If this deal goes through, it will control the same amount of assets as Sareb, the company created by the Spanish government in 2012 to manage the property of troubled banks.

Blackstone realized that it had to have a presence in Spain in 2013. It saw clear signs that the economy was bottoming out and decided to bet on the real estate sector. That summer it finalized one of the fund’s first major deals in Spain, the purchase of public housing from the Municipal Company of Housing and Land (EMVS), which has subsequently given Blackstone a serious headache. However, this deal (along with two others involving Goldman and Sareb) signalled the beginning of a real estate recovery in Spain.

The American fund came to Spain through Magic Real Estate, a company created by, among others, Ismael Clemente, the current Managing Director of one of Ibex’s real estate companies, Merlin Properties. After purchasing some small portfolios, Blackstone realized that it had to take a stronger position in Spain.

Key moment

Its first step came in 2014 with the acquisition of Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria, a real estate platform renamed Anticipa. Blackstone then tried to buy Eurohypo for 3.5 billion euros, which was eventually acquired by Lone Star. It got its way with Project Hércules, in which it acquired 6.4 billion euros in problematic mortgages from Catalunya Banc.

These deals were completed by the same team that conducts all of Blackstone’s major deals in Spain: the two brains behind the deals are Diego San Jose, who has twelve years of experience in the fund; and Eduard Mendiluce, ex-director of Catalunya Banc, who has detailed knowledge of the nationalized bank’s entire portfolio and of the banking/real estate sector in general.

The Fidere (Blackstone) real estate development in Soto de Henares (Madrid).

Jean-Christophe Dubois, who oversees investments from London, and Jean-François Bossy, a financier specializing in complex operations, taxation and legal issues, also take part in all of Blackstone’s major deals.

So far, a large part of the interests of this fund in Spain are in a securitization fund, which controls the Catalunya Banc’s problematic mortgages. According to the latest official figures, the mortgage package has already been reduced from 6.4 to 4.4 billion euros. Loan delinquency stands at 64%, with Blackstone co-investing with the state-run bank restructuring fund FROB. They are investing, however, under different conditions: Blackstone has a guaranteed profitability of 13% and the public fund will only profit under a series of complex scenarios.

Blackstone is cooperating with the FROB on Catalunya Banc’s toxic mortgages, where the US fund has a guaranteed return of 13%

In addition to the securitization fund, the American fund has three companies listed in Spain (Spanish REITs): Albirana Properties Socimi, with about 5,000 rental flats valued at €500 million; Corona Patrimonial Socimi, with more than €100 million in investments in office buildings; and Fidere Patrimonio, with rental flats (of which many are social housing) valued at €300 million.

Beyond these few listed companies, there are dozens of Blackstone companies registered in Spain. And few are less asset-laden, as some combine real estate assets and debt worth several hundred million euros: Tourmalet Propco Investment 2015 manages assets worth €800 million acquired from CaixaBank; Empire Real State Spain, flats acquired from Sabadell worth €500 million; and Patriot Propco, holding debt transferred by Popular at the end of last year, with an initial valuation of €418 million.

Geographical location of Banco Popular’s properties

All these investments will almost be small details when Blackstone takes control of 51% of Popular’s bank bad, with assets worth 30 billion euros. With this, the fund will be able to diversify its portfolio, which is currently highly exposed to Catalonia.

So far, Blackstone has done well with the strategy of betting hard on property while maintaining a low profile. From now on its bet will be double or nothing, and being on the bad end of the bet will be costlier than having remained in the background.

Original Story: voxpopuli – Jorge Zuloaga

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Värde Has Invested €800M In Spain’s RE Sector Since 2013

1 March 2017 – Eje Prime

Värde’s latest acquisition, Vía Célere, is going to be incorporated into the plans that the group has for Dospuntos, through which it intends to invest €2,000 million over the next six years, buying up land and building homes.

The US firm Värde Partners has set itself the goal of revolutionising the real estate business in Spain. Following its purchase of the real estate property developer Vía Célere earlier this week, the company has now invested more than €800 million in the real estate business in Spain. Since its arrival in the country in 2013, the fund has closed multiple operations, such as the purchase of Banco Popular’s real estate fund and the acquisition of assets in Madrid and Barcelona. Now, Värde Partners is taking another step forward in its objective to redraw the property developer map in Spain.

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Minneapolis (USA), Värde Partners invests its capital all over the world, through multiple strategies. (…). The group works with a wide range of assets and regional headquarters in Minneapolis, London and Singapore. It also has secondary offices in other cities around the world, including Barcelona.

Värde Partners is an alternative investment fund manager, with more than $10,000 million in assets under management and more than $50,000 million invested around the world. (…).

In December 2012, the investment fund fired the starting gun on its investments in Spain by joining forces with Anchorage to formalise the purchase of five buildings in Madrid and Barcelona for €100 million. Under the name Operation Copernicus, this package of assets used to belong to the former German bank Eurohypo, but was put up for sale in conjunction with the real estate company Monteverde. (…).

Then, during 2013, on its path to seek out good opportunities in the real estate business in Spain, Värde Partners seduced Banco Popular into the purchase of Aliseda for €815 million, together with Kennedy Wilson. The alliance formed by the two groups competed with lower offers from other groups such as Fortress, Willbur Ross and Lone Star.

After two years organising its business portfolio in Spain, Värde Partners finally took control of San José Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, where it already owned almost 25%. The US fund purchased Banco Popular’s 25% stake for €90 million, which allowed it to take ownership of 51% of that firm’s share capital.

From its newfound position of power, Värde Partners immediately carried out a €60 million capital increase, a move aimed at propping up the company and laying the foundations necessary to start building homes. In this way, Värde Partners prepared the basis of what would later become Dospuntos.

More recently, Värde has closed its last two purchases in Spain just a few months apart. In 2016, the group acquired the property developer Aelca from the Avintia group for €50 million. Meanwhile, it announced on Monday, that it is going to take control of Vía Célere for €90 million.

In this way, Vía Célere will form part of the plans that the group has for Dospuntos, through which it intends to invest €2,000 million over the next six years (…). The company already owns a vast land bank on which it plans to build more than 7,000 homes. In addition, the company wants to continue expanding its stock of land. In this way, its business plan for 2016-2021 includes new acquisitions with the aim of creating “the best land portfolio in Spain”.

Following its purchase of Vía Célere, Värde will integrate this real estate company into Dospuntos, which will operate under the Vía Célere trading name and which will have a land portfolio measuring more than 1 million m2. (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alicante’s Shopping Centres: Musical Chairs

24 October 2016 – Valencia Plaza

The shopping centre map in Alicante and its metropolitan area is entering a new phase of transformation during which we can expect to see sales, changes in management, extensions and even the entry of new players into the market, in addition to the likely arrival of Ikea in the city.

And the first change may come before the end of 2016. It involves the sale of the complex led by Poniente’s platform, Panoramis, owned until now by the company Marina de Poniente, which is controlled by the constructor Enrique Ortiz following the departure of Vectalia in 2014. Eighteen years after the centre opened, the company has been forced to get down on its knees and file for liquidation, after failing to comply with the creditors’ agreement that it reached in 2012.

In July, Commercial Court number 1 authorised that an auction may be held for the business unit (in short, the concession to operate the property, owned by the Port Authority) with the aim of generating revenues to cover the debt. So far, up to four solvent investors have expressed their interest in submitting offers to take over the management and operation of the centre for 12 years with the option of extending that period for another 12 years. (…). The centre has 54 units and a multiplex cinema. (…).

In parallel, talks are underway regarding the ownership of the Puerta de Alicante shopping centre in the neighbourhood of La Florida. According to sources in the sector, the French group Klépierre – which has owned 83% of the shares since 2002 – has been sounding out its possible sale since the spring. (…). The complex has a surface area of more than 34,000 m2 spread over 74 retail premises and a cinema multiplex. According to information available on the website, only 28 of its units are currently occupied. The centre contains a Carrefour hypermarket and the French retailer controls the remaining 17% of the centre’s shares.

The third change is expected in the Gran Vía shopping centre, the first retail offering of its kind to open in the provincial capital (in 1998). Its owner, a fund linked to Deutsche Bank – RREEF Investment GMBH – is considering either a change in terms of its operation or the inclusion of new shareholders into its capital. (…). The complex contains 65 retail and restaurant spaces spread over three floors. The low turnout of spectators forced the centre to shut down its cinema screens, but the centre was recently remodelled and the firm Primark has now moved in, which is boosting activity once again.

In other developments, The Outlet Stores de San Vicente centre, the only outlet that specialises in out-of-season products in the whole province, is also undergoing changes. The fund Zaphir Asset Management took over its reins in 2013 after purchasing the asset from the German bank Eurohypo for €9 million. (…). The centre has a retail surface area of 36,500 m2 and contains 75 fashion, leisure and restaurant units, as well as a cinema complex. Its owner is now considering a future expansion, which could involve the construction of another 70 units during 2017. (…).

And finally, permission has been granted to facilitate the opening of an Ikea store in Rabasa (accompanied by land for between two and four retail outlets), the subsidiary of the Fuertes Group, Profusa, has set out plans to construct a shopping centre measuring around 40,000 sqm in the El Mesell area, in the municipality of El Campello (…), however, final approval is still pending.

Original story: Valencia Plaza

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lone Star Puts ‘Rivas Futura’ Retail Park Up For Sale

9 July 2015 – Cinco Días

The opportunistic fund Lone Star has put the Rivas Futura retail park, in the Madrilenian town of Rivas Vaciamadrid, up for sale. The retail space covers an area of more than 40,000 m2 and includes around 30 large stores, such as Toys’r’us, Leroy Merlin, Media Markt, Decathlon, Kiab and Prenatal.

The retail park opened in May 2006. In 2008, the insurance company Axa Reim purchased it from Avantis for €81 million. Subsequently, it was included in Eurohypo’s secured loan portfolio.

The asset was subsequently included in the so-called Project Octopus, loans that were sold by Commerzbank (after its acquisition of Eurohypo), which Lone Star ended up purchasing.

This retail park currently has an occupancy rate of 80% and market sources say that the sales price could stand at around €70 million. The transaction has been brokered by Knight Frank, which has declined to comment on proceedings.

In Spain, Lone Star also acquired Kutxabank’s real estate arm, Neinor, last December, for €930 million and obtained control over the former Basque cajas’ property management platform. This fund, led by Juan Pepa in Spain, is committed to the residential market, through Neinor, and has plans to invest up to €1,000 million in land.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Puts 40 Large Property Loans Up For Sale

7 April 2015 – Expansión

Project Commander / The bank is holding negotiations with opportunistic funds regarding the transfer of real estate loans worth €500 million.

Bankia is causing a storm amongst large overseas funds in 2015. The entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri recently announced two large divestments aimed (precisely) at those investors; they are pioneering due to the types of assets that they include: one contains overdue mortgages and the other contains large loans to real estate companies.

In total, Bankia has put unpaid property-related loans up for sale amounting to €1,800 million. Through this strategy, the bank is seeking to reduce its balance of doubtful loans and to continue awarding real estate assets.

The most advanced transaction (in terms of progress) is the one involving the large loans (to real estate companies). Project Commander, the name of the deal being advised by Deloitte, includes 170 loans granted to 39 companies, worth more than €500 million. Of those companies, 31 are property developers and almost all of them have filed for bankruptcy or liquidation, according to sources at the overseas funds. Some of the loans were granted to companies such as the Catalan group Promociones Habitat, the same sources reported.

Exposure to land

Most of the loans are syndicated and bilateral and provide access to a wide range of assets. These include land – €200 million – most of which is rural; and industrial warehouses – €90 million -. The fund(s) that win(s) the bid will also be in a position to take ownership of office buildings, homes, a fully operational aparthotel and even a winery.

Along with the real estate assets, a small portion of the portfolio is backed by pledged shares and other types of economic rights in creditor bankruptcy.

Almost two thirds of the real estate portfolio is located in Castilla-La Mancha – mainly Toledo -, Andalucía and Cataluña.

According to the agreed timetable, the funds must present their final offers within the next two weeks and the transaction should close before the end of the month. Sources close to the process indicate that Bankia may obtain between €150 million and €200 million for Project Commander.

To secure the deal, many of the large funds have purchased real estate platforms during the last two years: Apollo (Altamira), Cerberus (Haya Real Estate), Blackstone (Anticipa), TPG (Servihabitat), Lone Star (Neinor), Centerbridge (Aktua) and Värde Partners-Kennedy Wilson (Aliseda).

These investors have already participated in some of the large real estate loan purchases. Blackstone purchased the largest portfolio ever transferred in Spain to date, Project Hercules, which comprised problematic mortgage loans from Catalunya Banc amounting to almost €6,500 million; and, more recently, Blackstone acquired a non-performing property developer loan portfolio from CaixaBank. Meanwhile, Lone Star purchased a loan portfolio from Eurohypo for €3,500 million.

Nor does the market rule out the emergence of new players such as Pimco, Chenavari and Deutsche Bank.

Meanwhile, yesterday Fitch increased the rating of Bankia’s mortgage bonds by one notch to A-.

Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake