Tuesday, January 25 2022

12/03/2021 at 07:49 am CET

Araceli Munoz

BBVA starts on sale of your depository business, the subsidiary which manages more than 73,000 million euros in pension funds and plans Of the entity. As financial sources told “El Periódico de España”, the entity has contracted with Deloitte to initiate a formal sales process, which is still in its infancy. The custodian of BBVA It is the third largest in the country and is valued at around 500 million euros, as the same sources indicate. It is one of the most anticipated transactions in the banking sector since the end of last year and aroused the interest of large companies in the sector such as the American State Street Partners, the French BNP Paribas or the Spanish Cecabank. If all goes as planned, the deal will close within the next year.

At the end of last year, the depositary BBVA managed 39,452 million euros in pension funds, 15,998 million in private plans, 11,848 million in employment plans, 2,935 million in sicav and 3,013 million in EPSV. With Bankinter, BBVA is the only bank to Spain which still maintains the activity of depositary within your company. At the international level, almost all neighboring countries such as the United Kingdom or Italy have transferred this line of activity to independent entities or to investors specialized in the matter in order to avoid conflicts of interest while financial entities obtain capital gains with these disposals, they strengthen their capital and focus on their specific activities focused on retail banking.

The first in Spain to separate from its depositary activity was Caixabank, which in 2012 transferred this activity to Cecabank, one of the entities that benefited the most from the banks leaving this activity. At the end of last year, Cecabank managed 152,963 million euros after finalizing the acquisition of the subsidiaries Bankia and Kutxabank in 2020. This entity also manages the funds and pension plans of other banks such as Ibercaja, Unicaja, Abanca or Liberbank, among others. Behind Cecabank, the second in Spain is Caceis and it was born last year from the integration of the custody and custody activities of Santander and Credit Agricóle, with more than 86,000 million euros under management. Behind BBVA is BNP Paribas, which also took advantage of the outsourcing of these services to banks to buy out the Sabadell activity.

This transaction comes at a time when the entity chaired by Carlos Torres is skyrocketing its merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. Just two weeks ago, BBVA informed the market that it had launched a takeover bid to control half of Turkish bank Garanti, which it still did not control, in an operation valued at around 2,250 million euros. This operation has greatly surprised investors and the entity’s share has fallen 23% (it closed yesterday at 4.77 euros per share) since the announcement of the operation. Its CEO, Onur Genç, reiterated this week that their intention with the purchase of 100% of Garanti is to generate more value and that they are committed to shareholder profitability, in the face of critical voices warning that the transaction is increasing. banking risk and volatility. . Yet two weeks ago, the bank announced an improvement in shareholder compensation, going from distribution between 35-40% of profits to 40-50% over the period 2021-2024.

The experts consulted by this newspaper stress that the reaction of the markets responds to a punishment for having devoted these resources to a country at greater risk like Turkey instead of favoring other growth alternatives in Spain, such as the merger with Sabadell whose negotiations broke down last year. However, financial sources indicate that the merger with the Catalan entity is still not to be ruled out in the medium term. In any case, the big catalyst for BBVA’s investment effort was the sale last year, which ended this summer, of its business in the United States after 16 years of work in the country. . Concretely, they sold BBVA USA to the PNC group for 11,600 million dollars (10,261 million euros, at the current exchange rate), generating a capital gain of 580 million euros for the Spanish entity. The amount obtained is equivalent to just over a third of the market value of the entity chaired by Carlos Torres.

At the time, the president of BBVA assured that the operation “gives us a lot of flexibility to invest profitably in our markets”. Thanks to this, the group will be able to give a boost to “long-term growth”. and to support “the economies in recovery phase, as well as to increase the remuneration of the shareholders”. Hours after uttering these words, BBVA and Sabadell informed the stock market regulator that they were “in talks regarding a possible merger between the two entities”. Negotiations finally broken down for a price issue.

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BBVA collected 3,311 million euros between January and September, leaving behind losses of 15 million a year ago, according to information it transmitted to the CNMV corresponding to its third quarter results. This recovery in green figures is due to the solidity of net interest income and commissions, as well as a sharp reduction in provisions thanks to a better than expected development in loan impairments. These figures on the table, the entity chaired by Carlos Torres announced in October the largest share buyback in its history (about 10% of the capital), for a maximum amount of 3,500 million euros.

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