Sareb Will Create A Restricted-Access Platform For Loan Sales

8 May 2017 – El Economista

(…). Sareb has been led by Jaime Echegoyen for the past two years, and has fulfilled its task of stabilising the financial system in Spain. Now, it is serving as an example for the European bad bank model.

Q: How do you think Sareb has performed since its creation?

A: (…). We are satisfied with what has been achieved over the last five years. We have managed (…) to give confidence to the sector and to serve in the restructuring of the financial sector and the reactivation of the real estate sector (…). If we had started selling off assets really quickly, we would probably not still be here. Everything has been done in a logical way and we have returned approximately 20% of the debt that was materialised in bonds with Treasury backing.

Q: Based on your experience as the President of Sareb, would you create a new bad bank in the same way?

A: (…) I think we have done a really good job, albeit a little late. (…). At the time (Sareb was created), bank delinquency amounted to more than €400,000 million and we decided to resolve one quarter of that balance, which in our case amounted to €107,000 million. That is the nominal value of the assets that were transferred to Sareb, which we purchased and which we paid for using €50,700 million in bonds. (…).

Q: What is Sareb’s main business?

A: The primary focus of our business, which takes up 95% of our resources, is managing the assets for sale through the four servicers: Altamira, Haya Real Estate, Servihabitat and Solvia. (…). We started with €50,700 million and at the end of 2016, we had €40,100 million.

Q: What other new activities are you going to undertake?

A: Of the revenues generated last year (€3,900 million), €2,800 million came from loans and the rest was generated by property sales. Therefore, the activity in terms of loans is very important. The number one source of our revenues in that branch comes from the repayment and cancellation of loans, and then from interest and in third place, from loan sales, and we are now going to focus on that third activity. We are planning to create an internal platform within Sareb, access to which will be restricted, and to which we will invite professionals who know what they are buying and who are qualified to be able to choose a range of loans. We are starting development now and we hope to conduct the first trials at the end of the summer, with an initial volume of loans amounting to €10 million. Depending on how well it is received, we will add more volume.

Q: Sareb’s accounts don’t add up, there are losses. How are you going to approach the next few years?

A: The mandate that we have is to be capable of returning the money that was given to us at the time to buy those assets and to do so in an orderly manner, without having to ask for more money. Our mandate has never been to make money (…). What we do is look at the market value of the assets we have and, whenever we can, we sell them. We only hold onto some of them within our portfolio for future development when we consider that that is the best course of action for the shareholders. Currently, we have own funds amounting to €4,000 million and we have to make those last until 2027.

Original story: El Economista (by Luzmelia Torres)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia, Sabadell & CaixaBank Have Sold €17,000M Of Problem Assets

27 April 2016 – Expansión

Spain’s banks still need to get rid of €350,000 million of problem assets from their balance sheets, despite having already divested €65,000 million over the last five years. The leaders in the disposal of non-core assets so far have been CaixaBank, Sabadell and Bankia, although experts indicate that divestment of toxic loans and foreclosed assets may taken another ten more years.

That was the view of the Heads of Advisory for Financial Divestments at KPMG, Deloitte, N+1 and PwC. “After ten years in this market, I think that we still have another ten years worth of divestments ahead. This market is here to stay”, said Joel Grau yesterday, Partner and Co-founder of N+1’s Corporate Portfolio Advisors, at an event organised by Europa Press and Servihabitat.

In recent times, the rate of asset sales has amounted to between €16,000 million and €22,000 million per year and experts at KPMG predict that this year will be the second best in the history of the sector in Spain: “We expect to see an increase of 7% in terms of portfolio sales with respect to 2015, to reach €19,500 million, with the weight of mortgage portfolios and foreclosed assets accounting for 49% of the total”, said Amparo Solía, the Partner responsible for Corporate in the Finance and Real Estate Sector at KPMG, the consultancy firm that participates in half of all operations.

Of that figure of almost €20,000 million, there are currently almost €15,000 million in the market, according to Jaime Bergaz, the Partner responsible for Deals – Financial Sector at PwC. Of that amount, around half relates to portfolios with a real estate component: debt to property developers, mortgages and foreclosed assets.

Once again this year, the entities that are proving to be most active in the divestment market are Sabadell, CaixaBank and Bankia. According to KPMG, those three financial groups have sold off problem assets amounting to €17,000 million in the last three years, which represents 30% of all of the assets sold by Spain’s banks.

Bankia is the leader in the ranking, with €9,000 million sold in the last three years, according to the different consultancy firms, followed by Sabadell, with €4,500 million and CaixaBank, with €4,000 million. (…).

Sareb, BMN, Santander and BBVA have almost sold portfolios worth more than €2,000 million in the last three years.

In addition, Sabadell currently has two portfolios up for sale worth €1,300 million and is studying the possibility of bringing a third onto the market worth €1,700 million. Meanwhile, CaixaBank has an operation underway involving a portfolio of doubtful debts to property developers, worth €800 million; and Bankia is considering launching the sale of a package of doubtful mortgages. Moreover, Cajamar is also proving very active; Abanca has a portfolio of NPLs up for sale; and Popular is expected to be involved in some major deals during the second half of the year.

Solía, from KPMG and Grau, from N+1, predict a higher volume of portfolio sales in 2017, due to the new provisioning circular and the banks’ need to increase their returns.

Ahead of this improvement, funds are already managing 80% of the banks’ problem assets, through platforms that they have been buying up in recent years. Investors paid €4,000 million for the servicers and have absorbed 3,200 jobs from the financial institutions.

The acquired platforms include Altamira, in which Apollo owns an 85% stake; Aliseda, in which Värde and Kennedy Wilson hold a 51% stake; Servihabitat, of which 51% is controlled by TPG; Haya Real Estate, which Cerberus acquired from Bankia; and Aktua, which Centerbridge bought from Banesto and is now selling to Lindorff. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake