Revised Legislation: Socimis to Pay Tax of 15% on Retained Profits

11 January 2019 – Expansión

The General State Budgets for 2019, which are going to be approved by the Council of Ministers today (Friday) and which are going to be presented to the Congress on Monday, will include a tax charge on the undistributed profits of Socimis, to which a tax rate of 15% will be applied, according to reports made by sources speaking to this newspaper. The measure was agreed between Podemos and the Tax Authorities although the Government did not include it in the Budget Plan that it sent to Brussels in October or in the draft bills that are already being processed. The General Secretary of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, blames the Socimis for the “rental bubble”.

This measure follows other initiatives agreed with Podemos, which cause the greatest impact of the increase in taxes set out in the budgets to fall on companies: they include a tax of 5% on overseas dividends and the imposition of a minimum taxable base of 15% in terms of Corporation Tax, which will be added to the draft bills to create the Google tax and the Tobin tax.

Socimis (Listed Public Companies for Investing in the Real Estate Market) were created by Zapatero’s Government in 2009 to revitalise the real estate market. They enjoy a very beneficial tax regime. The rate of Corporation Tax applicable to them is zero, provided they fulfil a series of requirements: their minimum capital stock is €5 million, which may be invested in a single property; a minimum of 80% of the profits obtained from rental must be distributed in the form of dividends; and a minimum of 80% of the value of the assets in urban buildings must be leased for three years. For the rents received from other types of activities, the Socimis have to pay tax at a rate of 25%.

From now on, a tax rate of 15% will have to be paid on all of the profits not distributed by these types of entities.

“We need to discourage the promotion of these types of companies that promote the bubble model, undermine the public coffers and represent a grievance for competition. We consider that the special regime afforded to the Socimis, whose main feature involves a tax rate of 0% for Corporation Tax, needs to be reversed”, said Podemos in a recent document. It regards it as “necessary to reverse Government policy, based on forcing tax regulation to create a tax haven for companies that promote a new housing bubble”.

Original story: Expansión (by Mercedes Serraller)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankinter & Sonae Sierra Launch €400M Retail Socimi

20 February 2017 – El Economista

Bankinter and Sonae Sierra have launched a Socimi, Ores Socimi, which plans to channel investment amounting to €400 million into small- and medium-sized commercial real estate assets in Spain and Portugal, according to a statement issued by the bank and the real estate company.

Ores Socimi has been conceived as an investment vehicle for the private banking clients of the entity chaired by María Dolores Dancausa (pictured above).

In fact, a portfolio of these clients already owns a 86% stake in the firm’s capital, in which Bankinter and Sonae Sierra hold stakes of 10% and 3.75%, respectively, following a €196 million capital increase when the firm was constituted.

The official launch of Ores Socimi will take place this week, on Wednesday 22 February, when its shares will begin trading on the MAB. It will be the 31st Socimi to debut on the Alternative Investment Market.

Ores Socimi is being created with the aim of acquiring a portfolio of commercial buildings in good locations in the main cities of Spain and Portugal.

Commercial assets

Specifically, the firm owned by Bankinter and Sonae will place its focus on retail premises on main high streets, as well as on supermarkets and hypermarkets and out of town retail parks, rather than on large shopping centres.

Ores Socimi will be chaired by Fernando Moreno, Director General of the Retail Bank at Bankinter. His investment and management strategy will follow a “product and rigorous policy”, and Sonae Sierra will be responsible for the real estate management of the assets and the administration of the company.

Bankinter has formed this partnership with a company that specialises in retail assets in order to launch an investment vehicle for its clients. Sonae has a presence in around a dozen countries and currently owns a portfolio of 45 shopping centres, which have a market value of more than €6,000 million.

Original story: El Economista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colau Suspends 35 Hotel Projects In Barcelona

26 October 2015 – Expansión

On Friday, the Town Hall of Barcelona revealed the final impact of the hotel moratorium in the Catalan capital. The mayoress Ada Colua’s star initiative has left 35 projects up in the air, although it will not effect some of the most iconic projects, such as the hotel that Amancio Ortega is planning to build in Plaza Catalunya or the project proposed by Meridia Capital for the former Henkel headquarters.

The future of the 35 projects now depends on the special urban plan for tourist accommodation (Peuat or ‘plan especial urbanístico de alojamiento turístico’), the regulatory framework that governs the (tourism) sector in the city. The town hall expects to approve the framework in March, just before the suspension of the licences expires. “We still have time to put in order and regulate tourism”, said the fourth deputy mayoress, Janet Sanz, at a press conference.

The 35 projects affected include 30 hotels, three youth hostels and two halls of residence. Some of the most well known projects include the property that the Hotusa group, owned by Amancio López, plans to build on Avenida Vilanova (close to the Arc del Triomf) and the building that Meliá wants to convert on Calle Casp.

During the press conference, the councillor revealed that 51 projects have run their course unaffected by the moratorium, since they were approved when the previous government was in office, i.e. when CiU led the Town Hall. Those 51 projects include 36 licences, 9 obtained due to non-opposition and 6 that have urban use certificates (a document that allows a licence to be requested during a six-month period).

The opposition, led by CiU, criticised Colau’s policy and accused her of making a lot of fuss and then taking little action. They asked the mayoress to show “rigour and seriousness”.

Original story: Expansión (by Gabriel Trindade)

Translation: Carmel Drake