Cincodias.com (English Translation by Google) - January 12, 2010
La Caixa is studying to join the trend of reducing the property risk by selling part of its branch network. The box, which has the largest number of branches in the country, in 5,339 total, Deloitte commissioned the project's viability.
Santander and BBVA led the way, who later joined Banco Pastor and Caixa Catalunya, among others. It tries to sell funds and private banking customers packages with most central offices located in major capitals.
The selling entity obtains resources and liquidity to dispose of property assets, currently penalized in the balance, following into the room rented by the formula called sale & lease back. Normally, reserve an option to repurchase at the end of the lease.
For its part, the buyer may get annual returns of up to 6%. So, La Caixa has commissioned Deloitte financial and accounting report on the possibility to dispose of ownership of parts of its network, the largest in the industry, formed last September by closure of 5339 branches.
A spokesman for the Spanish first box noted that "Deloitte conducted the study in the same way that many others who care not performed at the end." The same sources added that there was no firm decision about it, nor on the number of offices to be included in the packages for sale. The president of La Caixa, Isidro Fainé, rejected this formula from asset sales during the presentation of results for the year 2008 almost a year ago.
In any event, industry sources said that the sale of branches depend on the restructuring of the sector itself, which had closed offices until September 1345, according to the Bank of Spain. International Financial Analyst (AFI), the excess capacity will lead to the elimination of 5,000 offices in over four years.
La Caixa has closed a total of 191 stores in the first nine months of 2009, with the reduction of roughly the same number of ATMs, which stood at a total of 7,923.
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