Currencies

Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

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Banks

Basel Committe fail to sign off on latest bank reform measures

Banking regulators have failed to sign off the latest package of global industry reforms, leaving a question mark hanging over bankers who complain they have faced endlessly evolving regulation since the financial crisis. Policymakers had hoped to agree the contentious new measures at a crunch meeting held in Chile this week, but a senior official […]

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Banks, Financial

Banking app targets millennials who want help budgeting

Graduate debt, rent and high living costs have made it hard for millennials to save for a house, a pension or even a holiday. For Ollie Purdue, a 23-year-old law graduate, this was reason enough to launch Loot, a banking app targeted at tech-dependent 20-somethings who want help to manage their money and avoid falling […]

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Economy

Eurozone inflation climbs to highest since April 2014

A welcome dose of good news before next week’s big European Central Bank meeting. Year on year inflation in the eurozone has climbed to its best rate since April 2014 this month, accelerating to 0.6 per cent from 0.5 per cent on the back of the rising cost of services and the fading effect of […]

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Financial

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin hit by restructuring costs

Profits at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin were hit by restructuring costs as the company continued to shift its focus towards portfolio management. The FTSE 250 company reported pre-tax profits of £50.1m in the year to September 30, down 17.9 per cent from £61m the previous year. Finance director Andrew Westenberger said its 2015 figure was […]

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Categorized | Banks, Property

Spain’s ‘bad bank’ Sareb doubles losses


Posted on March 31, 2015

Sareb, Spain’s so-called bad bank, doubled its losses in 2014 even as the country’s broader real estate sector continues to recover.

The asset management company reported losses of €585m over 2014, compared with €261m a year ago, on the back of €719m in provisions on some of its assets after consultation with the Bank of Spain.

    Sareb, created in late 2012 following Spain’s real estate collapse and financial crisis, was designed to absorb and eventually resell soured property assets.

    Just over €50bn of assets were transferred from the country’s bailed out banks in two tranches in late 2012 and early 2013. Of particular importance were assets from Bankia, which embodied Spain’s crisis following its ill-fated 2011 flotation. The bank has since returned to profitability and in February said it would pay a dividend.

    Sareb, which has 15 years to sell off its assets, has whittled its portfolio down to just over €44bn as of the end of 2014.

    Although the company made a loss last year, it said it stands to benefit from Spain’s broader recovery. The government forecasts that the country’s gross domestic product will grow 2.4 per cent in 2015, while at the end of last year Spanish house prices rose at the fastest rate in six years.

    “Sareb is now in a position of greater strength and less uncertainty in facing the coming years of activity and in benefiting as much as possible from the emerging market recovery,” said Jaime Echegoyen, the asset manager’s chairman who took on the post after Belén Romana’s resignation in January.

    “Demand is a lot more solid than before,” he added at a Madrid press conference on Tuesday.

    Without taking into account the effect of provisions, Sareb made a loss of only €45m — a significant reduction on 2013. It said activity picked up, although added that almost half of its sales came from just four provinces — Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Málaga.

    Late last year, the bank hired four servicing companies to assist it in selling assets — Haya Real Estate, Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia. Sareb said these companies would help make its operations more efficient and profitable.

    The asset management company’s gross income was flat compared with 2013, at €1.6bn. Mr Echegoyen did not say when Sareb would become profitable.