Bloomberg reports unsaleable Spanish real estate nearly three years after I warned of this situation, in explicit detail. See ‘Unsellable’ Real Estate Threatens Spanish Banks:
Spanish banks, under pressure to cut property-backed debt, hold about 30 billion euros ($41 billion) of real estate that’s “unsellable,” according to a risk adviser to Banco Santander SA (SAN) and five other lenders.
“I’m really worried about the small- and medium-sized banks whose business is 100 percent in Spain and based on real- estate growth,” Pablo Cantos, managing partner of Madrid-based MaC Group, said in an interview. “I foresee Spain will be left with just four large banks.”
Spanish lenders hold 308 billion euros of real estate loans, about half of which are “troubled,” according to the Bank of Spain. The central bank tightened rules last year to force lenders to aside more reserves against property taken onto their books in exchange for unpaid debts, pressing them to sell assets rather than wait for the market to recover from a four- year decline.
Land “in the middle of nowhere” and unfinished residential units will take as long as 40 years to sell, Cantos said. Only bigger banks such as Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), La Caixa and Bankia SA are strong enough to survive their real-estate losses, he said. MaC Group is an adviser on company strategy focused on financial services.
The banks will face increased pressure if Mariano Rajoy becomes prime minister as expected after national elections on Nov. 20. The People’s Party leader has said the “clean-up and restructuring” of the banking system is his top priority as he seeks to fuel economic recovery by boosting the credit supply.
... Land in some parts of Spain is literally worthless, said Fernando Rodriguez de Acuna Martinez, a consultant at Madrid- based adviser R.R. de Acuna & Asociados. More than a third of Spain’s land stock is in urban developments far from city centers. About 43 percent of unsold new homes are in these areas, known as ex-urbs, while 36 percent are in coastal locations built up during the real-estate boom.
“If you take into account population growth for these areas, there’s no demand for them, not now or in ten years,” he said. “Around 35 percent of Spain’s land stock is in the ex- urbs, which means it’s actually worth nothing.”
... Spanish home prices have fallen 28 percent on average from their peak in April 2007, according to a Nov. 2 report by Fotocasa.es, a real-estate website, and the IESE business school. Land prices dropped by more than 60 percent in the provinces of Lugo, A Coruna and Murcia, and 74 percent in Burgos since the peak in 2006, data from the Ministry of Development and Public Works showed. Land values fell 33 percent nationwide.
“If there were to be a proper mark to market of real estate assets, every Spanish domestic bank would need additional capital,” said Daragh Quinn, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Madrid, in a telephone interview.
Santander has 9.2 billion euros of foreclosed assets, followed by Banco Popular SA with 6.05 billion euros, BBVA with 5.87 billion euros, Bankia with 5.85 billion euros, Banco Sabadell SA with 3.6 billion euros and Banco Espanol de Credito SA (BTO) with 3.36 billion euros, according to an analysis by Exane BNP Paribas.
... Dozens of Spanish banks have failed or been absorbed since the economic crisis ended a debt-fueled property boom in 2008. Spain’s bank-bailout fund took over three lenders on Sept. 30, valuing them at zero to 12 percent of book value. Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said the overhaul of the industry was complete after 45 savings banks merged into 15 and lenders increased capital levels.
... The cost to the public of cleaning up the industry’s books has so far been 17.7 billion euros in the form of share purchases from the government bailout funds known as the FROB.
Banks have made provisions for a potential 105 billion euros of writedowns since the market crashed. Lenders may need to make another 60 billion euros in provisions to clean up their balance sheets, including real-estate debt, according to Rafael Domenech, chief economist for developed nations at BBVA.
...“Since the crisis began, banks have only put their lowest- quality assets on sale while they waited for a recovery, so as not to sell the better properties at a loss,” said Fernando Encinar, co-founder of Idealista.com, Spain’s largest property website. Idealista currently advertises 45,912 bank-owned homes in Spain, up from 29,334 in November 2010. In 2008 it didn’t list any.
Spain is struggling to digest the glut of excess homes in a stalling economy where joblessness is among the highest in Europe. Unemployment has almost tripled to 22.6 percent from a low of 7.9 percent in May 2009, according to Eurostat.
Property transactions fell 28 percent in September from a year earlier, the seventh consecutive month of decline, according to the National Statistics Institute.
Financial institutions have foreclosed on 200,000 homes and that will balloon to as many as 600,000 in coming years as unemployment continues to rise, according to a report by Taurus Iberica Asset Management, a Spanish mortgage servicer which manages 35,000 foreclosed properties for 25 lenders.
... “Spain has 1 million new homes that won’t be completely absorbed by the market until the middle of 2017,” Fernando Acuna Ruiz, managing partner of Taurus Iberica, said in an interview in Madrid. “Prices will fall a further 15 to 20 percent in the next two to three years.”
About 13 percent of Spain’s 25.8 million homes are vacant, according to LDC Group, an Alicante-based specialist in real- estate management. The hardest-hit areas are Madrid, with 337,212 empty properties, and Barcelona with 338,645, LDC said in a report published yesterday.
Lack of financing and concern about economic growth has choked investment in Spanish commercial real estate, currently at its lowest level in a decade, according to data compiled by U.K. property broker Savills Plc. (SVS)
A total of 1.25 billion euros of offices, shopping malls, hotels and warehouses changed hands in the first nine months, 52 percent less than a year earlier, Savills estimated.
... There is an “enormous” gap between prices offered by banks and what investors are willing to pay, preventing sales of large property portfolios, MaC Group’s Cantos said.
He proposes that banks create businesses, in which they can hold a maximum stake of 19 percent, that attract other investors to help dispose of their real estate assets over five to eight years. The investors would manage the businesses.
Cantos says that prime assets can be sold at a 30 percent discount, while portfolios comprised of land, residential and commercial real estate may only sell after 70 percent discounts.
“Therein lies the problem,” he said. “Banks have already provisioned for a 30 percent loss, but if you are selling at 70 percent discount, you have to take another 40 percent loss. Which small and medium size banks can take such a hit?”
I discussed European real estate yesterday in the post Are The Ultra Conservative Dutch Immune To Pan-European Pandemic Contagion? Are You Safe During An Earthquake Because You Keep Your Shoes Tied Snugly? If you have an economic interest or even curiosity in European Real estate, it is suggested you read the afore-linked post as well as...
Those who wish to download the full article in PDF format can do so here: Reggie Middleton on Stagflation, Sovereign Debt and the Potential for bank Failure at the ING ACADEMY-v2.
Excerpted from yesterdays CRE post focusing on the Dutch, but suitable for most of the EU:
As clearly stated in the very first posts of the Pan-European sovereign debt crisis in 2010, this is a pandemic contagion. The media's focus on specific countries must be mollified and modified. Reference the first five posts of the aforemetioned series, published a year and a half ago...
The Coming Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis – introduces the crisis and identified it as a pan-European problem, not a localized one.
What Country is Next in the Coming Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis? – illustrates the potential for the domino effect
The Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis: If I Were to Short Any Country, What Country Would That Be.. – attempts to illustrate the highly interdependent weaknesses in Europe’s sovereign nations can effect even the perceived “stronger” nations.
Now, reference yesterday's Bloomberg headlines - Spanish, French Debt Auctions Disappoint; Yields Rise: Yield spreads of Spanish and French 10-year government bonds over German equivalents hit euro-era highs on Thursday.
What do you think happens when contagion spreads to Spain? Please don't tell me you think that Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Ireland are having rate shit fits, but somehow Spain will remain unscathed - with all of those NPAs and highly overvalued, uber leveraged, supposed assets floating around in their bank's balance sheets?
I warned of this happening nearly three years ago. I issued several reports to subscribers. Of course, about a quarter after I warned, Goldman comes around (changing their stance of course, because they were bullish on European banks, cough.. cough... nasty phlegm being held down...). Hey, has anyone ever told you that Goldman's investment advice SUX! Don't believe me? Well, follow the two links below, or you could just continue reading this article...
- Is It Now Common Knowledge That Goldman's Investment Advice Sucks???
- I've Told You Before, And I'll Tell You Again - Goldman Sachs Investment Advice Sucks!!!
Over a full year and a quarter after I warned of Spanish banks, and a full quarter after I gave the full out warning of European banks in general, guess who comes to the party late bearing stale party favors....
This impetus of this video stemmed from the post Ovebanked, Underfunded, and Overly Optimistic: The New Face of Sovereign Europe, as excerpted:
I will attempt to illustrate the "Overbanked" argument and its ramifications for the mid-tier sovereign nations in detail below and over a series of additional posts.
Sovereign Risk Alpha: The Banks Are Bigger Than Many of the Sovereigns
This is just a sampling of individual banks whose assets dwarf the GDP of the nations in which they're domiciled. To make matters even worse, leverage is rampant in Europe, even after the debacle which we are trying to get through has shown the risks of such an approach. A sudden deleveraging can wreak havoc upon these economies. Keep in mind that on an aggregate basis, these banks are even more of a force to be reckoned with. I have identified Greek banks with adjusted leverage of nearly 90x whose assets are nearly 30% of the Greek GDP, and that is without factoring the inevitable run on the bank that they are probably experiencing. Throw in the hidden NPAs that I cannot discern from my desk in NY, and you have a bank that has problems, levered into a country that has even more problems.
Notice how Ireland is the nation with the second highest NPA to GDP ratio. This was definitely not hard to see coming. In addition, Ireland has significant foreign claims - both against it and against other countries, many of whom are embattled in their own sovereign crisis. This portends the massive exporting and importing of financial contagion. Reference my earlier post, Financial Contagion vs. Economic Contagion: Does the Market Underestimate the Effects of the Latter? wherein I demonstrate that Ireland's banking woes can easily reverberate throughout the rest of Europe, affecting nations that many pundits never bothered to consider. Irish banks will be selling off assets, issuing assets and bonds in an attempt to raise capital just as the Irish government (contrary to their proclamations) will probably be issuing debt to recapitalize certain banks. This comes at a time when the Eurozone capital markets will be quite crowded.
Expected higher fiscal deficit and bond maturities due in 2010 have increased the need for bond auction financing for all major European economies. Amongst all major European economies, France and Italy have the highest roll over debt due for 2010 of €281,585 million and €243,586 million, respectively.
BoomBustBlog Susbscribers, if you're paying attention, this was the one year warning of this series of posts:
While Germany and France are expected to have the highest fiscal deficit of €125.1 billion and €96.0 billion, respectively in absolute amount for 2010 (this is without taking into consideration any possible bailout of Greece and/or the PIIGS, which will be a very difficult political feat given the current fiscal circumstances), Ireland and Spain are expected to have the highest fiscal deficit as percentage of GDP of 12% and 11%, respectively. See our newly released Spanish fiscal analysis for a more in-depth perspective, see our premium subscriber report on Spain's fiscal condition and prospects: Spain public finances projections_033010 2010-03-31 04:41:22 705.14 Kb...
As you can see, when properly researched, one can literally write the Bloomberg/CNBC/MSM headlines a full year and a half into the future. Notice the date on the post excerpt you just read, then reference this post from yesterday concering the bickering between Germany and France: When The Duopolistic Owners Of The EU Printing Presses Disagree On The Color Of The Ink!
CNBC reports: France and Germany Clash Over ECB Crisis Role
France and Germany, Europe's two central powers, have stepped up their war of words over whether the European Central Bank should intervene more forcefully to halt the euro zone's debt crisis after modest bond purchases failed to calm markets.
Facing rising borrowing costs as its 'AAA' credit rating comes under threat, France urged stronger ECB action, adding to mounting global pressure spelled out by U.S. President Barack Obama.
BoomBustBlog readers and subscribers saw this coming a mile away. The Duopoly that ruled the economics of the EU have divergent needs now, hence divergent interests. Expect this to get worse in the near term. The reasons have been spelled out in Italy’s Woes Spell ‘Nightmare’ for BNP - Just As I Predicted But Everybody Is Missing The Point!!! You see, France, As Most Susceptible To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer because stress in the Italian bond markets will be a direct cause of a French bank run - with the largest of the French banks running the hardest BNP, the Fastest Running Bank In Europe? Banque BNP Exécuter. For those who don't follow me regularly, I warned subscribers on BNP due to the Greco-Italiano risk factor causing a liquidity run born from imminent writedowns. No one from the sell side apparently had a clue.
Is it eastern European mysticism or west African Voodoo magic? No, it's a spreadsheet and an objective mindset, something that the EU leaders apparently don't have nor are willing to hire me for!
Oh yeah! Back to that little side thesis about Goldman's investment advice sucking till the lips bleed...
LTTP (Late to the Party), Euro Style: Goldman Recommends Betting On Contagion Risk In Portuguese, Spanish And Italian Banks 3 Months After BoomBustBlog Warns Of Failure! Saturday, 24 April 2010
Will someone explain to me why the world is so enamored with Goldman. It appears that their research department is now recommending clients to bet on European bank contagion risk. LTTP (Late to the Party), we first warned on European bank risk in Spain with BBVA in January of last year (The Spanish Inquisition is About to Begin...). Starting in January of this year, I went in depth into the European contagion thing when practically all of the banks, pundits, analysts and rating agencies said this was contained to Greece.
In February, I posted "The Coming Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis – introduces the crisis and identified it as a pan-European problem, not a localized one."
In January of 2009, that's right - 35 months ago, I made it clear that Spanish banks will suffer years from Spanish real estate bubble's that had more effort behind being reblown than cured, coupled with I coined the Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis a year later...
Now, it is time to see if fundamentals return to the market.
Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA said fourth-quarter profit slumped to 31 million euros from 519 million euros a year earlier as the lender wrote down the value of some assets.
BBVA fell the most in eight months in Madrid trading after saying net income fell to 31 million euros ($43.6 million) from 519 million euros a year earlier, the Bilbao, Spain-based bank said in a filing today. That missed the 1.05 billion-euro median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of nine analysts as the bank took a 704 million-euro writedown for its U.S. franchise.
BBVA said it took the writedowns after analyzing its “most problematic portfolios” as it prepares for a tough year with recessions in its biggest markets of Spain and Mexico. This was foreseen nearly one year ago, to date. This bank got caught up in the bear rally and apparently (like many banks) was not deserving of the outrageous boost in the share price. Reference the past analysis.
Reggie Middleton on the New Global Macro - the Forensic Analysis of a Spanish Bank Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Declining housing and stock prices, and rising unemployment levels are squeezing consumer wealth globally and are expected to weigh heavily on the banking system in the form of rising loan defaults. Until very recently, the global banks have experienced most of the impact in the form of distressed securities, capital shortages and funding problems, however the problems have now started to engulf their consumer and commercial loan portfolios as well.
In Spain, BBVA, the second largest domestic bank, could see a massive deterioration in its real estate and consumer loan portfolio. The Spanish real estate sector is making a high horsepower a U-turn after years of a massive housing bubble that has burst - culminating in an unemployment rate that has risen to an outrageous 13.4% level. The power skid is showing no signs of reaching an inflection point, and we believe is only in the beginning throes of a sharp downturn. In addition, the banks' other key growth areas including Mexico, the U.S and South America are witnessing a slowdown in economic activity, restricting BBVA's growth prospectus amid the current turbulent environment. With increasingly challenging economic conditions in each of these economies, BBVA's asset quality has deteriorated sharply with non-performing loans rising to 36% of its tangible equity without corresponding (equal) increase in provisions. As the bank deals with these tough times ahead, we expect BBVA's bottom line growth to remain subdued due to a slower credit off-take and higher provisions in the coming quarters....
Sharp slowdown seen in Europe - According to the European Commission forecasts, the European economy is expected to contract 1.9% in 2009 with a modest recovery in 2010. Spain, in particular, is expected to be one of the worst hit due to the humbling of its housing sector which had, for several years, been a significant contributor to the country's economic growth. This will impact BBVA by slowing down its credit and loan growth in addition to significantly deteriorating the credit quality of its loan portfolio.
BBVA's asset quality is set to deteriorate rapidly as Spain enters recession - Problems in Spain are more pronounced than in most of its European counterparts. The Spain's budgetary deficit has already crossed the 3% threshold limit set by the European Commission and is expected to cross 6% by 2009, only behind Ireland. The unemployment has reached a 12-year high of 13.4% in November 2008, the highest in the Euro zone, while the real estate sector bubble (particularly residential vacation homes purchased by foreigners), the pillar of economic growth engine, has burst. BBVA, with nearly 40% of its total loan exposure tied to real estate & construction loans and individual loans in Spain could see massive deterioration in its asset quality.
Besides Spain the bank has to deal with other challenging economies including Mexico and the U.S - In 3Q2008, U.S and Mexico contributed nearly 29% and 16% of total revenues, respectively. The downturn in the U.S economy is showing no signs of stabilization, with an unabated fall in housing prices and frozen credit markets continuing to shatter consumer confidence. Recession in the U.S has also led to a sharp slowdown in Mexico which is highly dependent on US for exports and remittances. The slowdown in both of BBVA's key markets will not only impact the pace of BBVA's growth but also augment the risk profile for the bank as it now has to deal with vagaries of these economies to navigate itself in these turbulent times.
BBVA's NPAs have skyrocketed on back of economic slump - Since January 2008, BBVA's non-performing loans have increased 92% to €6.5 bn. As at the end of 3Q2008, BBVA's loan losses as a percentage of tangible equity stood at an astonishing 36%. Eyles test, a measure of banks' delinquent loans (net of reserves) as percentage of its tangible equity, has increased to 12% in 3Q2008 from 4% in 2Q2008. This sharp rise in the bank's NPA levels, particularly in context of its lower equity cushion, could substantially erode shareholders' equity.
Inadequate provisioning to impact BBVA's bottom line - Owing to deteriorating loan portfolio, BBVA's NPAs have almost doubled to 2.0% of the total loans in 3Q2008 from 1.1% in 3Q2007. Despite an increase in NPAs, the bank's provision has declined to 2.3% of the total loans from 2.4% a year ago. As loan losses are expected to increase in the wake of economic slowdown, BBVA will have to increase its provisions considerably, denting its near-to-medium term net income.
BBVA's valuation at... Subscribers can download the full archived report Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) Professional Forensic Analysis 2009-01-28 16:04:04 439.80 Kb
For those who haven't been to the Spanish coastal areas to see for themselves or are not familiar with the Spanish situation, I have included random research on Spain from pundits around the Globe!
Now, speaking of Spain, Pan-European pandemic and War... Yesterday, I gave an interview with Benzinga radio wherein I referenced the distinct possibiity of European war as the natural result of the collapse of the European banking and sovereign debt system. You can hear the interview here. It appears that certain rather outspoken British MEPs have a very similar outlook.
That's not all. Here are two other occasions, one as recently as yesterday...
This is early 2010...
I've been asked in the past why I don't run for political offce. Well, the answer is I'm just too damn honest and straightforward. I'd make this guy look shy, and probably end up with a car bomb in trunk before long... Has anyone ever seen the movie Bulworth, starring Warren Beatty? If you haven't seen it, take six more minutes of your time to view this clip before you move on...
And the British version of Bulworth returns as of yesterday. You can call him whatever you want, but you have to call him right, as well...
And in closing, here are the two Dutch real estate videos I posted yesterday that were never released before...