China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

Continue Reading

Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

Continue Reading


Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

Continue Reading


China stock market unfazed by falling renminbi

China’s renminbi slump has companies and individuals alike scrambling to move capital overseas, but it has not damped the enthusiasm of China’s equity investors. The Shanghai Composite, which tracks stocks on the mainland’s biggest exchange, has been gradually rising since May. That is the opposite of what happened in August 2015 after China’s surprise renminbi […]

Continue Reading


Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

Continue Reading

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.