Bain Capital Hires JP Morgan and Deloitte to Securitise NPLs

18 December 2019 – Bain Capital has hired JP Morgan and Deloitte to sell off all of the non-performing loans it acquired in Spain during the crisis. The portfolio has a nominal value of approximately €4 billion, though it is likely to sell at a significant discount.

The firm is looking to securitise the portfolio of NPLs. The credits would remain in the same companies, but any new investors would assume the risks and the potential profits.

Market analysts believe that Bain’s decision is linked to two major factors. First, the entrance of Unidas Podemos into the governing coalition, together with the Socialists, an second the expected coming change in the economic cycle. Both have been roiling the market in the last few weeks.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Jorge Zuloaga

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Blackstone Puts €400M Of Catalunya Banc’s Mortgages Up For Sale

27 March 2017 – Expansión

The banks have put a red circle around 2017 in their calendars, as the year when the doubtful portfolios that have hurt them so hard in the past and that are still denting their balance sheets even now, will show signs of life. Some of the entities may end up generating more profits than they initially expected.

And Blackstone is leading the way. The US giant has created a securitisation fund containing some of the non-performing loans with a nominal value of €6,000 million that it purchased from Catalunya Banc in 2015 for almost €3,600 million. Two years later, and after restructuring many of the credits, the investment group has decided that the time has come to capitalise on its investment.

It will do so with the sale to investors of a portfolio containing €403 million of these formerly delinquent loans. It represents Blackstone’s second foray into this field. Last year, the firm opened fire with the first securitisation of structured loans in Europe, although now it is redoubling its efforts given that the volume up for sale is 52% higher.

The fund comprises 3,307 residential mortgages granted in Spain, with a loan to value (credit over the value of the home) of 60.9%. Almost 80% of these mortgages have been restructured and many of the borrowers are up to date with their repayments. Meanwhile, there has been no change to the rest, according to information that Blackstone has provided to Moody’s to allow the risk ratings agency to make its assessment.


Blackstone’s aim is to sell this portfolio to investors in order to materialise some of the gains obtained from the management of the non-performing loans. In all likelihood, the securitisation fund will be placed below its nominal value, but at a much higher level than Blackstone paid when it acquired the mortgages from Catalunya Banc, before the State intervened entity was acquired by BBVA.

In exchange, Blackstone will offer different coupons to investors, depending on the type of mortgages that they take on.

The fund has been divided into five tranches, depending on the risk. The first has a very high level of solvency and so will pay annual interest of 3-month Euribor plus a spread of 0.90%.

The second and third tranches, which still have high or intermediate solvency ratings, will pay premiums over Euribor of 1.9% and 2.5%, respectively. The fourth tranche is ranked below investment grade and will pay a return of 2.6%.

The objective of Blackstone and the three banks that it has engaged for the securitisation (Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank) is that the operation will be completed next week.

A new market

This second securitisation by Blackstone is clear confirmation that a new market has opened up for buyers of delinquent portfolios from the banks. In fact, sources from several investment banks are confident that there will be a significant volume of secondary operations of this kind this year, where the new owners of the bank’s non-performing loans will sell their positions to other funds and to the market alike, through securitisations. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Inés Abril)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander & BNP Put €319M Of Mortgages Up For Sale

19 October 2016 – Expansión

Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios (UCI), the financial credit company owned jointly by Santander and BNP Paribas, has packaged up 3,850 residential mortgages in Madrid, Andalucía and Cataluña to sell them in the market. To this end, it has structured a securitisation fund amounting to €420 million, of which €319 million will be placed with final investors, a tranche that has been assigned a high quality AA rating by Standard & Poor’s.

It is the third operation that the entity has undertaken in less than a year, as part of the Prado series. Given that UCI is regarded as a special lender, it is not able to approach the European Central Bank in search of financing, and so it is taking advantage of the reactivation of the securitisation market. In total, it has launched three securitisation funds amounting to €1,410 million during this period and a large part of the debt has been sold to investors. On this occasion, UCI is paying competitive prices, of 65 basis points above 3-month Euribor.

According to financial sources, the types of clients involved in this specialist kind of mortgage transfer tend to be those who are unable to access a normal bank, in other words, those who have more risky profiles. But in this securitisation, as S&P has highlighted, the loans are more robust than in standard securitisations because they have lower loan to values (loan amount over appraisal value).

Original story: Expansión (by D. Badía)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Moody’s: Spain’s Banks May Securitise €105,000M Of Problem Assets

5 October 2016 – Expansión

Moody’s Forecast / The US giant Blackstone has opened an alternative route for Spanish entities to accelerate the clean up of their balance sheets, through the placement of securitisation funds containing restructured credits.

This week will see the placement of the first securitised fund of problem mortgages on the market in Europe by Blackstone, in a move that is set to pave the way for Spain’s banks to replicate the model. Blackstone’s plans involve the sale of some of the assets (€265 million) that it bought from Catalunya Banc in 2015, for a nominal value of more than €6,000 million.

The ratings agency Moody’s estimates that Spain’s banks have €105,000 million in refinanced or restructured problem loans in total, primarily mortgages, which may be put on the market through securitised funds. “The banks are under pressure from the ECB to reduce this load as quickly as possible, to clean up their balance sheets and improve their returns”, said Moody’s in a recent report. According to PwC, half of the problem loans in Europe are held by borrowers in Italy, Spain and Ireland.

Assets susceptible to being securitised are those that have been modified to help the borrower pay, although they do not necessarily need to have been in arrears in the past. The original loan may have been refinanced (offering a new loan to repay the existing one) and/or restructured (changing the terms and conditions). This figure is lower than the total volume of overdue loans owing to Spain’s banks, which amount to €138,000 million and foreclosed properties (€113,000 million).

For example, in its securitised fund, Blackstone has included only those loans that have been performing (being repaid) for more than 37 months in a row, therefore, they are considered to be “high quality” problem assets. In exchange, they offer an attractive yield, more than 100 basis points above Euribor, with a discount of just 10% for those funds prepared to bear the most risk.

In order to open up this market, players have worked hard to obtain support for these types of securitisations from the regulators. Both the ECB, as well as the Bank of England and the European Banking Authority have been working to create specific pan-European regulations to facilitate more simple, transparent and standard securitisations, pending approval from the European Parliament. According to Moody’s, securitisations of refinanced and restructured credits would fall within this definition, which should facilitate their placement amongst investors.


The most active buyers of these types of problem asset portfolios in Europe may now also participate as investors in this market. According to data from Deloitte, Oaktree, Lone Star and HSH are the most active purchasers, with more than €5,000 million, followed by others such as Bain Capital, AnaCap and Apollo.

Until now, many of the portfolios sold by the banks to these funds have been transacted through bilateral operations. Nevertheless, the economic recovery means that the volume of refinanced loans that are now performing (being repaid) is increasing, which means that the sector could generate higher returns from these kinds of securitisations.

Original story: Expansión (by Daniel Badía)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Creates Europe’s First Restructured Loan Securitisation Fund

4 October 2016 – Expansión

The US giant Blackstone is doing great business in Spain with the problem assets that it bought from Catalunya Banc at the beginning of 2015. And it is now going to set the cat amongst the pigeons with an operation that looks set to represent a golden solution for its competitors and Spain’s banks in general.

The firm has just created the first securitisation fund in Europe from restructured loans. It is a pilot test, involving €265 million of credits, but it will likely open the way for other Spanish entities to dispose of the majority of their problematic loans without having to sell them to vulture funds at knockdown prices.

Blackstone completed the purchase of Catalunya Banc’s problematic mortgage portfolio for almost €3,600 million in April 2015 – the portfolio had a nominal value of more than €6,000 million – that sale was a condition for BBVA to acquire the Catalan group. The purchase was structured through a fund to which Blackstone contributed €3,598.4 million and the FROB the remaining €524.9 million.

The well trodden path

Now Blackstone, which has spent almost a year “negotiating” with the CNMV to obtain approval for this operation’s prospectus, is selling these mortgages to qualifying investors through a traditional securitisation fund, like the ones created in Spain to finance the credit boom until the outbreak of the financial crisis, but with the difference, given that this time the fund involves restructured loans. In other words, it contains credits whose conditions have been altered to allow the borrowers to afford the repayments.

Financial sources explain that, rather than discounts of 70%, such as those being applied to the direct sale of portfolios through bilateral contracts between entities and the funds who are active in this niche of the market – such as Apollo, Lone Star and Centerbridge, as well as Blackstone – these mortgages may now be placed on the market with discounts of less than 10% for the most subordinated (higher risk) tranches.

Nevertheless, these portfolios contain loans that borrowers have been repaying for more than 37 months without any help, thanks to the economic recovery, in other words, they contain “high quality” problem loans. In total, they will generate returns of more than 100 basis points above Euibor and so represent an interesting alternative for investors looking to take on more risk in the almost-zero interest rate environment.

Original story: Expansión (by Daniel Badía)

Translation: Carmel Drake

AHE: Listed Mortgage Securities Tripled In Q1 2016

30 June 2016 – Expansión

In total, the volume of mortgage-backed securities admitted for listing during the first quarter of the year amounted to €22,514 million. According to the Spanish Mortgage Association (‘Asociación Hipotecaria Española’ or AHE), that figure represents a more than three-fold increase in the quantity recorded during the same period in 2015 (€6,300 million). Single mortgage-backed bonds maintained their weight over the total volume issued, accounting for around 53%. The issued volume of that instrument amounted to €7,143 million during the first quarter, up by 13.4% compared to a year earlier.

The issuance of securitisations backed by mortgages between January and March 2016 amounted to €15,371 million, up by 51.6%. The outstanding balance of mortgage securities at the end of March registered a decrease of 5.5% with respect to the same period last year.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Uro Engages BNP To Sell 40 Santander Branches

16 November 2015 – Expansión

Mandate / The Socimi owns 775 branches that it acquired from the bank chaired by Ana Botín under a ‘sale and leaseback’ agreement.

Uro Property, the Socimi that owns one third of Santander’s branch network, is looking for new tenants. The company has engaged BNP Paribas Real Estate to sell or re-let 40 branches released by the entity chaired by Ana Botín.

The bank’s exit from these branches is a reflection of its strategy to gradually reduce its installed capacity – a strategy that the whole sector is undertaking – and forms part of the contract between the entity and Uro Property. Under this agreement, Santander may exit between 4 and 5 branches per year. That figure has been increased for 2015 following the refinancing carried out by the Socimi during the summer.

Uro is the successor company of Samos, which purchased 1,152 offices from Santander in 2007 under a sale & lease back arrangement for €2,040 million. The entity’s high debt level caused the creditor bank to capitalise come of its bonds in 2014, with Santander, Atisha (the former Sun Group), CaixaBank, Phoenix Life (formerly Pearl) and BNP taking over control.

Stock market

At the time, the entity made a commitment to list on the stock exchange, which it did last March, debuting on the Alternative Investment Market (‘Mercado Alternativo Bursátil’ or MAB). It began life by listing at €100/per share and after distributing a dividend of €59/per share, closed trading on Friday at €57/share. Excluding the payment to its shareholders, the company’s share price has increased by 13% since its debut.

Uro sold 381 of the 1,152 branches it acquired initially to Axa Real Estate for around €300 million. They had a gross leasable surface area of 90,000 m2.

Following that operation, Uro now owns around 775 branches, for which it receives annual rental income of just over €100 million.

Now that 40 branches have been released by Santander, Uro Property faces the challenge of looking for new business solutions for the first time. Its priority is to sell the branches one by one, maximising the price. Although by quantity, these branches represent 5% of the total portfolio, they are worth just €20 million, which represents just 1% of the €1,800 million appraisal value of the Socimi’s properties.

These 40 branches have a combined surface area of 9,500 m2 and 50% of them (by surface area) are located in Madrid and Barcelona, whilst the remaining 50% are distributed across the rest of Spain. The properties will be sold empty and may be converted into shops, service outlets or used for other commercial purposes.

Shareholder structure

In addition to the management of these properties, the other major challenge that Uro Property will face in the coming months is the possible renewal of its shareholder structure. The Socimi’s investors have pledged to continue as shareholders for one year after the company’s debut on the stock exchange; that period will expire in March. Subsequently, one or more of the original investors may exit the company, such as Atisha and Phoenix Life, or other entities. In addition to Santander, CaixaBank and BNP Paribas, other shareholders include Burlington, Société Générale and Stichting Z+S.

Another key milestone for the company in recent months was the refinancing of its debt, which it achieved through an income securitisation amounting to €1,345 million, with a term of between 22 and 24 years. Uro Property agreed a fixed interest rate of 3.348% with investors, whereby reducing its financing cost from 6%, including interest rate derivatives.

The company is led by Simon Blaxland as the CEO and is chaired by Carlos Martínez Campos, the former number one at Barclays in Spain.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ST: Some House Prices Still Need To Fall By 15-20%

28 September 2015 – Cinco Días

Is it compatible to say that the market is moving towards stabilisation and at the same time that the prices of some homes still need to decrease by a further 15% to 20%? Most of the experts and the CEO of Sociedad de Tasación, Juan Fernández-Aceytuno (pictured above), think so. They argue that those two facts can coexist in time and that they show that the real estate market is slowly emerging from the worst crisis in its recent history.

“We are currently undergoing a period of stability, not recovery”, said Fernández-Aceytuno last week during the presentation of his appraisal company’s latest report, prepared in conjunction with Planner, which outlines the new profile of the home buyers attending events such as SIMA in Madrid. The Head of Sociedad de Tasación explained that there is still some way to go in terms of what needs to happen from now on for us to be able to speak more openly about a recovery in the market.

Greater confidence

Given the evolution of appraisal market, Fernández-Aceytuno considers that there are still many places where house prices need to decrease by a further 15% to 20% for the supply to match up with the demand. In fact, he points out that we can only talk about a recovery in a handful of regions, where sales now significantly exceed the levels recorded a year ago and where new developments are being constructed once again.

Moreover, he said that the improvement in the market for the securitisation of mortgage loans must continue following the first operation (for several years) signed in June, and that the growth in employment, household income and GDP must all strengthen. “All of the ingredients are present for demand to react. What is happening now is that an increased level of confidence is being demanded, investors are being more prudent and potential buyers have realised that investments in housing are not infallible”, said Fernández-Aceytuno.

In this sense, he commented that we cannot talk about a full recovery yet in a market in which the transactions being conducted by foreign investors and buyers carry a greater weight than those being undertaken by first time buyers, as a result of the creation of households, or those that want to acquire better homes (as corroborated by Solvia’s study published on Tuesday). How long do we have to wait for this recovery then? “It is impossible to say, but it will take years, not months”, concluded the CEO of the appraisal company.

Meanwhile, the report prepared by Planner and Sociedad de Tasación, which analyses the profile of potential buyers attending real estate fairs, such as SIMA, reveals that the typical profile is younger (aged between 25 and 35), with greater confidence in the future, with larger budgets and looking for larger homes, according to the CEO of Planner Exhibitions, Eloy Bohúa.

According to the report, in parallel, there has been an increase in the number of older buyers whose main motivation is to improve their current home or to move from rented housing to their own home.

Some of the impediments that prevent the closure of more operations include, in order of importance: price, financing (a lack of it) and uncertainty regarding employment conditions.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake