Spain’s Banks Sell Off Debts to Reduce NPL Ratios

 January 2020 During the end of 2019 and the beginning of the new year, Spanish banks have sold, or are about sell, more than €8 billion in overdue loans. Almost all the country’s major banks have been steadily selling off large portfolios of debt, which increasingly are made up of unsecured loans. That represents a change from the focus on mortgages since the end of the real estate crisis. These days, delinquency rates on consumer loans have surpassed 5% of the total, with €5 billion in overdue loans and annual growth above 10%.

BBVA has recently sold the largest portfolios of debt, up to five billion euros in non-performing loans. Half of that has been in the form of unsecured debt, or, in other words, debts with no collateral. BBVA sold its Project Juno to Intrum last year. The portfolio included 300,000 unpaid loan contracts. The bank also recently sold the €2.5-billion Project Hera, made up largely of loans to SMEs, to Cabot and Carval Investors.

CaixaBank, for its part, sold the €865-million Astún portfolio, a group of unsecured loans to companies and individuals. Intrum also acquired the portfolio, along with 50% of the Vento portfolio, sold by Banco Sabadell.

Durante el final de 2019 y el comienzo del nuevo año, los bancos españoles han vendido, o están a punto de vender, más de € 8 mil millones en préstamos tóxicos. Casi todos los principales bancos del país han estado vendiendo constantemente grandes carteras de deuda, que se componen cada vez más de préstamos no garantizados. Eso representa un cambio del enfoque en las hipotecas desde el final de la crisis inmobiliaria. En estos días, las tasas de morosidad de los préstamos al consumidor han superado el 5% del total, con € 5 mil millones en préstamos vencidos y un crecimiento anual superior al 10%.

BBVA ha vendido recientemente las carteras de deuda más grandes, hasta cinco mil millones de euros en préstamos morosos. La mitad de eso ha sido en forma de deuda no garantizada, o, en otras palabras, deudas sin garantía. BBVA vendió su Proyecto Juno a Intrum el año pasado. La cartera incluía 300,000 contratos de préstamos impagos. El banco también vendió recientemente el Proyecto Hera de 2.500 millones de euros, compuesto principalmente por préstamos a pymes, a Cabot y Carval Investors.

CaixaBank, por su parte, vendió la cartera de Astún de 865 millones de euros, un grupo de préstamos no garantizados a empresas y particulares. Intrum también adquirió la cartera, junto con el 50% de la cartera de Vento, vendida por Banco Sabadell.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Óscar Giménez

Translation/Summary: Richard D. Turner

Centricus Still Leads Race to Acquire Haya Real Estate

10 December 2019 – The potential sale of the real estate asset manager Haya Real Estate is firming up as the new Spanish government coalition has made reassuring statements regarding the sale and the sector. After the elections on November 10, the left-leaning political parties PSOE and Unidos Podemos signed a pre-agreement to form a government. Market watchers feared that the new government would look unkindly at the sale.

Centricus is currently leading the race to acquire Haya, though DoBank, Intrum and Centerbridge are still seen to be in contention. Cerberus, which owns Haya Real Estate, is looking to finalise the deal by the end of the year.

The US firm’s sale of the servicer has suffered a serious of reversals.  Cerberus initially looked to list the firm on the Spanish stock market with a preliminary valuation of €1.3 billion. In March, the listing was cancelled due to doubts regarding Haya’s asset management contract with Sareb, and the price lowered to €1,2 billion.

Bids for Haya’s €42.431-billion portfolio are currently said to range between 600 and 700 million euros.

Original Story: Cinco Diás

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

 

Banco Sabadell Sells Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios to Oaktree for €882 Million

5 August 2019

Banco Sabadell has agreed to sell its developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (Sdin), to the US-fund Oaktree. The sale, which includes a significant stock of land holdings, closed for 882 million euros and will generate an accounting gain of 23 million euros.

Sabadell split Sdin Residencial from the larger Solvia Real Estate before its sale to the Swedish group Intrum.

With this deal, Sabadell has practically eliminated toxic assets from its balance sheet, selling more than €12.5 billion in non-performing assets over the last year.

Thanks to the sales, Sabadell will now have a Tier 1 Common Capital Ratio of 11.6%, up from 11.2% in June. The bank hopes to reach 12% in 2020.

Original Story: Expansión – Sergi Saborit

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Sareb Offers the Contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat & Solvia to its Rivals

17 June 2019 – El Confidencial

Sareb is on a mission to change its course. According to market sources, the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured below) has decided to put its contracts with Altamira (owned by doBank), Servihabitat (Lone Star) and Solvia (Intrum) out to tender two years before their scheduled renewal.

Even though the contracts are not due to expire until the end of 2021, Sareb is putting them out to tender alongside that of Haya Real Estate, which is due to expire at the end of 2019. This represents a boost for Cerberus’s servicer, given that its competitors will now also have to focus on retaining their own contracts rather than just bidding for Haya’s.

In the event that Sareb awards the contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia to other entities, it will have to compensate the servicers since their contracts clearly establish early termination clauses.

Altogether, Sareb is looking at putting out to tender the management of €34 billion in loans and properties that it still has left in its portfolio. The four will have to submit their bids in the next few months, specifying which assets they want to manage and what commissions they will charge.

The largest mandate is that of Haya, which manages assets proceeding from Bankia, which accounted for 37% of the bad bank’s original assets. It is followed by Altamira, which manages the assets proceeding from Catalunya Banc, BMN and Caja 3 (29% of the total); Servihabitat, which manages the assets from NCG Banco, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia (19%); and Solvia,  which manages assets from Bankia (foreclosed), Banco Gallego and Ceiss (15%). Clearly, there is a lot at stake for these servicers.

Original story: El Confidencial (by J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Completes the Sale of its Platform Solvia to Intrum

24 April 2019 – Cinco Días

Banco Sabadell and Intrum have definitively closed the operation whereby the entity chaired by Josep Oliu has sold 80% of its real estate platform Solvia to the Swedish group, more than four months after it was initially announced, having obtained the corresponding approvals.

The operation values 100% of the company at €300 million and so Sabadell will receive €240 million for the 80% stake, an amount that may increase by another €40 million depending on the evolution of the business.

The bank will record a gain of €138 million as a result of the sale and its capital ratio will improve by 15 basis points.

The entity is also waiting to complete the sale of its property developer Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn) during the next quarter. The funds Cerberus and Oaktree have made it through to the final round of that operation, according to sources.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A. G.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Puts Haya Real Estate up for Sale for c. €1.2bn

15 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Cerberus had been planning to list Haya Real Estate on the stock market but it suspended that operation in light of the political instability in the country, amongst other reasons. Instead, the US fund has decided to put the servicer up for sale.

The asking price is €1.2 billion and the advisor Rothschild has already made contact with possible interested parties. They include DoBank, which acquired Altamira in January for €412 million; the Swedish company Intrum, which purchased 80% of Solvia in December; and the fund manager Centricus.

Haya’s contract with Sareb is due to expire at the end of this year and the bad bank is understood to be considering not renewing the agreement as part of a wider strategic rethink.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Delays Completion of ‘Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’ Sale until May

28 February 2019 – El Confidencial

Banco Sabadell is finalising the sale of land from Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn) to complete its real estate divestment process with prices of between €900 million and €1.1 billion. The process began with more than 20 funds and property developers expressing interest. Analysts forecast that the Catalan entity will record gains of more than €200 million.

To this end, the bank chaired by Josep Oliu (pictured above, left), has already prepared a timetable. The entity has delayed the deadlines because it has taken longer than expected to receive some of the signed confidentiality agreements (NDAs). Now, the interested parties will have until 30 March to analyse SDIn and submit non-binding offers. The deadline for the subsequent period for the submission of binding offers will be 17 May.

In this way, Sabadell will have the second half of May to accept the winning bid, and then receive the corresponding authorisations to complete the divestment before July (…).

Analysts expect that the operation will be executed in the region of €1 billion, with a discount of 30% on the net asset value. Even so, that would result in capital gains from profits of more than €200 million, according to a report by Alantra, to which this newspaper has had access. In this way, the maximum quality capital ratio (CET1 fully loaded) would move towards 12%, approaching the 12.5% that the bank has set itself as a target for 2020 in its strategic plan. In December, the ratio amounted to 11.1%, well below the 12.8% from the previous year following the sale of toxic property and the problems with the integration with TSB.

The land has been valued at €1.3 billion by Savills Aguirre Newman and by the property developer SDIn itself (…).

Candidates include funds and property developers. Market sources point to Cerberus, Oaktree and Neinor homes as some of the leading contenders. The operation will require the buyer to become one of the largest real estate players in Spain (…).

In December, Banco Sabadell agreed the sale of its property developer Solvia to the Nordic fund Intrum for €300 million. Intrum is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange and is the owner of Lindorff and Aktua in Spain (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Óscar Giménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unicaja Considers the Sale of a Large RE Portfolio in 2019

12 February 2019 – Expansión

Unicaja accelerated the clean up of its balance sheet during the course of 2018. The Málaga-based entity decreased its volume of non-performing assets by 22%, in such a way that it is now close to the reduction objective it established in its latest strategic plan for 2020. That is according to the figures provided by the bank itself during the presentation of its results for last year.

The entity chaired by Manuel Azuaga (pictured above) ended 2018 with a volume of non-performing assets (NPAs) amounting to €3.6 billion, of which €1.7 billion were foreclosed assets and €1.9 billion were non-performing loans.

In five years, the bank has reduced its toxic legacy by 51% or more than €3.8 billion. Unicaja’s commitment to investors was to bring its exposure to problem assets down below the €3.5 billion mark before the end of 2020. The rate of sales of small NPA portfolios has allowed it to get ahead in the calendar that it established in its strategic plan. But the entity will continue its clean up.

The heads of Unicaja have reported their intention to continue with small portfolio sales during 2019. Moreover, they do not rule out carrying out the sale of a large portfolio in order to segregate a majority of the non-performing exposure, in a similar way to what most of the Spanish banks have been doing over the last two years.

Unicaja’s decision to carry out a massive property sale will depend, like in other cases, on the discounts that the entity will have to apply to its portfolio. The NPAs of the Malagan bank have an average coverage level of 57%, which means that a discount of a similar percentage could be applied to the book value without resulting in accounting losses for the entity this year.

High asset quality

Unicaja is, together with Abanca, the only Spanish bank entity that still retains ownership of its servicer, the real estate subsidiary through which it sells its homes and commercial premises.

The recent decision by Sabadell to sell 80% of Solvia to Intrum followed other previous operations that have seen the Spanish banks undoing their positions in the property segment, including the sale of Servihabitat to Lone Star by CaixaBank, and of Aliseda to Blackstone by Santander.

Beyond Unicaja’s plans for its property, the entity has been recording a positive trend in terms of the quality of its assets for several years now. The net inflows of problem loans have registered eight consecutive quarters of decreases, and between September and December, they recorded the largest decrease in the bank’s historical series.

Since 2014, Unicaja’s default ratio has also decreased by almost half: from 12.6% recorded in December 2014, the Málaga-based entity has managed to clean up its balance sheet to bring the rate of toxic loans down to just 6.7%.

Original story: Expansión (by Nicolás M. Sarriés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Puts its Property Developer Subsidiary Up For Sale with Assets worth €1.2bn

5 February 2019 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell announced on Tuesday that it is putting its subsidiary Solvia Desarollos Inmobiliarios up for sale. The property developer owns assets worth around €1.2 billion. The assets are mostly plots of residential land, located in prime areas of Madrid, Barcelona and other major cities, as well as 130 work-in-progress real estate developments.

Less than a week ago, the President of Banco Sabadell, Josep Oliu, announced at the presentation of last year’s results that “we are going to continue with our asset divestment policy”. On this occasion, Sabadell has chosen the investment bank Rothschild, according to the relevant fact sent to the CNMV, to circulate the sales prospectus amongst possible buyers. According to market sources, large funds such as Blackstone, Cerberus, Värde and Oaktree, amongst others, may be interested in buying the company.

The entity, led by Francisco Pérez, has around 40 employees, who will also exit Sabadell’s orbit. The sales process may last six months. Firstly, the candidates will have to submit offers and then a competitive process will be carried out.

This sale is running in parallel to the sale of 80% of the real estate manager Solvia. In theory, an agreement has been reached to sell that firm to Lindorff Holding Spain, which belongs to the Swedish fund Intrum, for €300 million. That price may increase by an additional €40 million if certain conditions established in the sales agreement are fulfilled.

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Conchi Lafraya)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Puts ‘Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios’ Up for Sale

19 January 2019 – El Periódico 

Banco Sabadell has launched the sales process of Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIN), the company that owns the bank’s land and which carries out its real estate development projects in Spain. On Friday, the entity placed the sales brochure for the firm in the hands of possible buyers, including international real estate funds, such as Cerberus, Blackstone, Värde and Oaktree, amongst others, according to confirmation provided by real estate sources. The process, regarding which the bank itself has declined to comment, could go on until April. The time necessary for buyers to express their interest and conduct analysis of the company for sale.

The process to sell the development company is beginning just a month after the bank chaired by Josep Oliu completed the sale of 80% of its servicer – real estate manager – to Lindorff Holding Spain, a company that belongs to the Swedish fund Intrum, after it fought off competition from the funds Cerberus and Centricus, which were also bidding for the real estate subsidiary. In that operation, Solvia was valued at €300 million. The price corresponded to 80% of the stake in the company, which could be increased by a maximum amount of €40 million if certain conditions, relating to the performance of some of Solvia’s lines of business, are met. The completion of the operation is scheduled for the second half of 2019.

Maturity period

SDIN is in the maturity period for its sale, according to sources familiar with the operation. The firm has a stock of more than 300 buildable plots, which are worth around €1.2 billion and has almost 130 developments underway across different parts of Spain, with more than 5,000 homes under construction. The size of the portfolio of SDIN, which is led by Francisco Pérez (pictured above), places it in the second league in the sector ranking, just behind the listed property developers, led by Metrovacesa, Neinor, Aedas and Vía Célere. Only Sareb has more assets (…).

Original story: El Periódico (by Max Jiménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake