Urbas To Earn €250M From Sale Of 1,600 Homes Over 5 Years

29 July 2015 – El Economista

Urbas has launched a new business plan that forecasts the sale of 1,600 homes, located in 49 developments, over 5 years, through which it expects to generate turnover of €250 million and profits of more than €40 million.

The company has calculated this turnover volume on the basis of an average expected price of €167,000 per home, said the Urbas Grupo Financiero in a statement today. The company expects to begin selling the homes it owns in Spain during the third quarter of the year (…).

The company will also deal with more than 9 million square metres of land, commercial premises and buildings that it holds, most of which is located in the Corredor de Henares and Guadalajara.

Integration of assets

This represents a new stage for the company, which has spent the last year completing all of the regulatory processes and appraisals necessary following its absorption of the assets previously owned by Aldira Inversiones Inmobiliarias and Alza Residencial. The transaction has allowed Urbas to increase in size by a factor of 13 in the last year, whereby “gaining financial muscle and increasing its volume of assets, to become one of the medium-sized listed real estate companies on the market”.

With the final integration of the assets, approved by the General Shareholders’ Meeting on 10 July 2015, Urbas is now redirecting its own resources to positive figures, through a capital increase amounting to €384 million, which will result in a market capitalisation of approximately €600 million and a reduction in its debt ratio to 33%.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting also approved the new corporate regulations to update and improve its corporate governance. The company’s share capital has been divided into three basic packages of similar proportions, which are controlled by the groups Darivenia Markets, Quantium Venture and Alza Residencial.

The rest of the capital will continue to trade on the stock exchange, ensuring that the company has “a high volume of liquidity, which has made it one of the most active companies in terms of share sales on the Spanish stock exchange in recent years”.

Following the transformation of its financial structure, in line with the economic recovery, and given that none of its shareholders are financial institutions, the group hopes to leave the economic crisis behind and embark on a promising future, focused on the real estate sector and its listed status on the stock exchange.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Sold 4,135 Properties In H1 2015 For €262M

17 July 2015 – Expansión

Bankia sold 4,135 properties during the first six months of 2015, i.e. more than double the number it sold during the same period in 2014 (1,919). Half of the sales were made directly through branches and the other half were closed through intermediaries. These properties form part of Bankia’s stock and have nothing to do with the assets that the bank transferred to Sareb after receiving public aid.

The sales generated revenues of €262 million, up 82% on the year before. 92% of the sales relate to residential properties. The remaining 8% include the sale of retail premises, whose sales volumes increased 6-fold compared with the previous year.

At the end of the first quarter, Bankia had foreclosed properties on its balance sheet amounting to €4,213 million – this amount had barely changed since the end of 2014.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Romani)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Funds Will Invest €2,000M In Shopping Centres In 2015

7 July 2015 – El Economista

Shopping centres are still the star asset in the real estate sector; and experts forecast that this year will see the second largest investment volumes of all time.

According to Pelayo Barroso, Director of Business, Analysis and Market Research at the consultancy Aguirre Newman, transactions amounting to €2,000 million will be closed during 2015. This figure is spurred on by the arrival of institutional funds specialising in this kind of asset.

“We do not expect the investment volumes seen in 2014 to be repeated – €2,500 million was invested in around 30 transactions. That was an exceptional year, but the forecast figures for this year are still very strong”, says Barroso.

It is worth noting that in 2013, total investment amounted to just €700 million, whereas during the year to date, transactions have already been closed amounting to more than €900 million. (…).

Centres up for sale

According to Aguirre Newman’s forecasts for the second half of the year, transactions worth €1,000 million will be closed, as a result of the sale of around 15 shopping centres, which are currently on the market. Moreover, Barroso explains that even though some assets are not officially on the market, “their owners are open to offers”.

The shopping centres that may be sold are “located in regional capitals and large towns”, which is just what investors are looking for. He adds that these assets are not only located in Madrid and Barcelona, they can also be found in cities such as Bilbao, Sevilla and Valencia.

In terms of the type of investor interested in these assets, the Socimis will continue to play an important role. The creation of several Socimis in a relatively short space of time and their need to invest within a relatively short timeframe, meant that they accounted for 24% of total investment volumes in 2014, according to data from Aguirre Newman.

Similarly, the arrival of overseas institutional investors with vast specialist experience in the sector has driven a lot of investment; these players accounted for almost 73% of total investment volumes last year.

Both Socimis and institutional investors have a long-term vision, explains Barroso. In this sense, he stresses that their objective is to optimise centres, reposition them and earn rental income from them. “They are not going to do what the funds that purchased shopping centres in 2012 and 2013 did, when they entered the market, only to exit again two years later.

In terms of the yields that these investors are looking for, the director explains that the returns on prime centres range between 5% and 5.5%. Whilst for secondary centres, yields start at around 6.5%.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Renta Corporación Seeks Partnerships With New Overseas Funds

8 May 2015 – Cinco Días

The Catalan company Renta Corporación hopes to sign at least one agreement with a foreign real estate fund in 2015 to (allow it to) continue investing in new assets. That is what sources at the company said yesterday following the presentation of its results for the first quarter 2015.

Renta Corporación closed the first quarter with a 10% increase in profits, to reach €1.1 million thanks to the sale of four buildings. The company also revealed that it has already committed to future sales worth €33 million. The listed company has debt amounting to €22 million and Sareb currently holds a 5% stake in its share capital.

The partnerships it hopes to sign this year will resemble the agreement it has already signed with the fund Kennedy Wilson Real Estate to acquire and transform residential buildings.

Currently, as a result of this agreement, the joint venture has already invested in property in the central Almagro neighbourhood of Madrid.

These new investment vehicles will allow it to specialise in the purchase of hotels and commercial assets. Renta Corporación hereby gains financial muscle, since almost all of the investment is financed by the fund, like in the case of Kennedy Wilson.

Moreover, in Spain, that Californian firm shares a 51% stake with Värde in Aliseda, the real estate arm of Popular.

After overcoming bankruptcy last year and returning to the stock exchange, Renta Corporación expects to work with these international funds to continue its growth. Sources at the company say that they understand that their experience in the Spanish market is critical for these firms, which in turn provide liquidity.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinver’s Sales Increase By 5% In Spain And 10% In Europe

24 March 2015 – Expansión

The Spanish company Neinver, managed by José María Losantos, increased sales at its five outlet centres in Spain by 5%. In Europe, where the company has 15 stores, sales increased by 10% to amount to €952.29 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake