Patron Capital Buys 43 Retail Outlets For €35M

4 February 2016 – Expansión

The British investment fund Patron Capital has purchased a batch of 43 retail outlets, mainly supermarkets, from Blackstone for €35 million.

The properties are located all over Spain, although the majority are found in the regions of Asturias and Castilla. 32 of the premises are supermarkets in urban areas, five are cash & carry establishments and six are retail premises located in prime areas of several Spanish cities.

The tenants of the properties include: the supermarket chain El Árbol, owned by the Día group; the fashion house Cortefiel; and the bank ING Direct.

As a result of this acquisition, Patron Capital has increased its commitment to the commercial segment, which now accounts for 50% of its portfolio. Residential assets and hotels make up the remainder, accounting for 20% and c. 30%, respectively. The operation has been advised by Garrigues, Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira, Aguirre Newman, Deerns and CBRE.

Patron Capital is headquartered in London and operates in Spain from its office in Barcelona, led by Pedro Barceló. The Spanish office has a budget of €200 million to invest in 2016 not only in the commercial sector, but also in the office, residential and hotel segments.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ING España’s Mortgage Portfolio Increased By 5% In 2014

12 February 2015 – Expansión

ING Direct España increased its client portfolio and balance sheet again last year. The bank was the only entity that managed to increase its mortgage book, with an increase of 5.1% to €9,949 million. It is offering one of the best mortgages in the market, having lowered its spread over Euribor to 1.49%.

The growth in its portfolio of other loans was even more significant; it rose by 29.7% to €961 million. ING Direct launched a new strategy in September 2013 to gain a foothold in the SME segment. As a result, its balance sheet increased by 12.3% to €25,277 million in 2014, whilst its funds and pension plans soared by 45.8% to €4,148 million. Its client portfolio in Spain grew by 7.3% to 3.1 million.

Despite these figures, ING Direct España’s bottom line for the year is unknown, since the Dutch entity does not provide a breakdown of its gains and losses by country.

At the global level, the group made a profit of €1,251 million in 2014, down by 64.7% due to extraordinary items and a change in the perimeter. Excluding the impact of extraordinary items, its net profit amounted to €3,424 million, i.e. 8.5% more than in 2013.

ING finished paying back the aid it received during the crisis (€10,000 million) in 2014, and so it announced yesterday that it will begin paying dividends to shareholders again, with the first payment of €0.12 per share being disbursed in May. Yesterday, ING’s shares increased by 3.62% to €11.62.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Romani)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ING Lowers Mortgage Spread To 1.49%

19 January 2015 – Cinco Días

The 2015 battle for mortgages has only just begun. ING Direct has been quick to react to the new wave of mortgage cuts just days after Kutxabank dropped a bombshell by cutting the spread on its mortgages to 1%, to become the cheapest in the market.

From today, the Dutch institution is offering a spread of 1.49% above Euribor, down from its previous rate of 1.69%, to place its Hipoteca Naranja amongst the most attractive products in the market once more, alongside offers such as the One-e, which allows borrowers to lower their spread to 1.50% above Euribor by taking out more products with the entity.

Moreover, with this tactical move, ING overtakes Banco Santander, which recently reduced its spread from 1.79% to 1.69%, with a fixed rate of 2.45% for the first year.

ING has kept the other conditions of its mortgage loans the same, with no initial rate, no interest rate floor and no commission. Antonio Cuadros, Director of Financing and Insurance at ING Direct España notes that “with this price decrease, we want to become the option of choice for customers seeking financing”.

Experts say that 2015 could become the year in which we see spreads of around 1% as financial institutions join the war to supply mortgages.

Original story: Cinco Días (by M. Calavia)

Translation: Carmel Drake