Ibercaja Sells 505 Property Developer Loans For €489M

10 July 2017 – El Periódico

On Friday, Ibercaja announced a sales operation that will allow it to significantly clean up its toxic assets. Specifically, the bank has completed the sale of 505 property developer loans and credits – most of which relate to “doubtful” assets” – amounting to €489 million. The size of this portfolio represents a decrease of 36% in terms of the total number of doubtful property developer loans that the entity held as a March 2017.

In this operation, known as Fleta, 43% of the portfolio comprises loans granted to finance land purchases, which represents “the highest percentage of such loans in an operation of this kind recorded in Spain to date”, said sources at the Aragon entity on Friday.

Moreover, the deal allows Ibercaja to bring its default rate below 8%, a figure that forms part of the strategy to optimise its balance sheet and provide a commercial boost, established in the entity’s strategic plan for 2015-2017.

Since the end of 2014, the year when the aforementioned plan was launched, the volume of doubtful loans has decreased by €1,103 million, in other words, to 57% of the initial volume.

The portfolio has been sold to the company Fleta Issuer Holdings Designated Activity Company, after a process in which “first-rate” domestic and international investors have participated “which reflects the interest received for the offer in the market”, said the bank.

On the other hand, Ibercaja has increased the financing of new real estate projects. In 2016, it tripled the number of homes it financed with respect to 2014. During those three years, it financed 150 new projects, most of which are located in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza.

That milestone, add sources at Ibercaja, followed others that have been fulfilled in accordance with the strategic plan, which “is reinforcing the financial strength of the entity, driving the transformation of the business model and activating the geographical growth plans for the retail business”.

Financial operations

In March of this year, the entity considered the early repayment of all of the contingent convertible bonds (CoCos) issued by Caja 3 and subscribed by the FROB in 2013, amounting to €223 million.

Moreover, last October, the entity placed an issue of 7-year mortgage bonds amounting to €500 million on the capital markets. In July 2015, Ibercaja was the first unlisted entity to issue subordinated debt, amounting to €500 million with a 10-year term, since the start of the restructuring of the Spanish financial system.

A few months later, in October 2015, the bank closed an operation similar to Project Fleta, when it sold a portfolio of 428 property developer loans, mostly doubtful, for €698 million, in an operation known as Goya.

Original story: El Periódico

Translation: Carmel Drake