June 18, 2018 / 10:04 AM / 4 months ago

BBVA reduces real estate exposure further in Spain

MADRID, June 18 (Reuters) - Spain’s second-biggest bank BBVA on Monday said it had agreed to sell a property loan portfolio in Spain with a gross value of 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) as it further reduces its non-performing assets from its balance sheet.

A source close to the matter identified the buyer as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which invests the assets of the Canada Pension Plan.

Spain’s property market is enjoying a rebound, although lenders are still struggling to sell real estate debt that soured during a prolonged crisis, often offering discounts of around 60 percent on the face value of the portfolios.

Since December 2016, BBVA has cut its gross exposure to the sector by 20 billion euros as Spain’s economic recovery has allowed most of its banks to tackle toxic balance sheets faster than rivals in Italy.

In November, BBVA agreed to sell 80 percent of its real estate business to U.S. fund Cerberus for a gross value of 13 billion euros, which is expected to close in the third quarter. ($1 = 0.8636 euros) (Reporting by Jesús Aguado; Editing by Paul E. Day and Louise Heavens)

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