Sareb sells a €1.5 billion loan portfolio to Axactor

Sareb sells a €1.5 billion loan portfolio to Axactor

Sareb has closed what will be its only operation of the year in portfolio sales. Sareb (Sociedad de Gestión de Activos procedentes de la Banca) has transferred to the Norwegian company Axactor a portfolio, called Génova, worth 1,500 million euros and made up of bad loans without mortgage collateral, according to industry sources.

This is the second portfolio that SAREB has sold to this company, after transferring another one last year, valued at 3,000 million euros. In fact, Spain is the leading market for the debt management company Axactor, accounting for 39% of its revenues and 28% of its non-performing loan portfolio. The Oslo-listed company specialises in buying NPLs to manage and collect such debt.

These are loans granted by the former savings banks to real estate developers, which remained unpaid when these institutions went bankrupt and which are difficult to sell as they are not protected by any real estate or mortgage guarantee.

During 2023, Sareb has broken its record for divestments, having sold 26,262 real estate assets and 3,429 financial assets. And its main mission in the coming months is to generate income to repay debt, so "the objective is to sell assets as if there were no tomorrow", according to Leopoldo Puig, SAREB's CEO.

Sareb started with an end date marked on the calendar: 2027. By then, the company expects to have recovered unpaid loans in real estate (through formulas such as foreclosure, since these loans have real estate as collateral), although it assumes that it will not be able to get rid of its entire portfolio of assets unless it changes its strategy and, therefore, manages to repay all outstanding debt.

"It is impossible to sell the portfolio of assets as at present, which we sell one by one and to individuals, companies and administrations", the company explained. The only way to speed up the transfer of properties would be to sell large portfolios to institutional funds, although this type of operation would entail a greater deterioration in their value due to the foreseeable discount in price.

Sareb also admits that in three years' time "there will still be land left", although it confesses that "no reflections have yet been made in this regard".

Sareb's portfolio currently consists of 14,309 million euros in real estate and 8,795 million in loans, making it 62% and 38% respectively.

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