Sareb assets tempt private equity buyers

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The ‘bad bank’ set up as part of Spain’s bailout conditions has been having a rough time in persuading the markets that it would meet the targets set out for it, but now it looks like the tide may be turning.

Although the market has shown signs of recovery in recent months with an increase in transaction volumes in the first quarter of 2013, the sheer weight of numbers of ‘bad’ assets that Sareb needs to offload has been cause for concern.

However, in the light of figures from Spain’s Land Registry which revealed that house sales in Q1 were up by 28,735 on the final quarter in 2012, representing the highest number for the last eight quarters, there are now also signs that international private equity buyers are starting to take an interest in what Sareb has to offer.

The Financial Times has reported that properties located primarily in the regions of Andalucia and Valencia have been the subject of interest from major portfolio buyers including Apollo, Lone Star and Blackstone.

A source told the FT: "It seems like the moment when it starts to happen. The flow of deals has been zero so far, but this should be the opening of the doors for a lot of transactions."

The size of the prospective deal is rumoured to be in the region of €200 million (£170 million) and if it goes through it will not only take some pressure off Sareb but will also set a pricing precedent for subsequent deals.

The question of pricing has been the subject of debate in recent months with some commentators calling for further falls in asking prices in order to kick start sales. Whilst there is so much uncertainty around concerning the distressed assets held by Sareb, outside observers seem unwilling to invest in a market that still may not have hit rock bottom.

If you want to send money from UK to Spain make sure you check the exchange rates offered by specialist currency firms against those available from the banks in order to get the best deal.

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Sareb assets tempt private equity buyers

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