Doral Said Trying to Sell Branches, Loans to Raise Capital

Doral Financial Corp. (DRL), the holding company for Puerto Rico’s second-largest mortgage lender, is trying to sell itself in parts, people with knowledge of the matter said, to maintain compliance with capital requirements.

Doral, based in San Juan, is in the early stages of shopping its commercial real estate business, valued at more than $600 million, the people said. The bank is also auctioning off branches and loans in New York and Florida that could fetch more than $100 million combined, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Doral, which posted a loss of $88.3 million last year because of mounting levels of unpaid business and home loans, said in May that it would consider selling “certain performing and non-performing assets and businesses” to raise capital to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements. The company also plans to sell a portfolio of collateralized loan obligations, the people said.

After selling those assets, Doral will seek to sell its Puerto Rican-based operations, probably to one or more lenders on the island such as Popular Inc., First BanCorp or OFG Bancorp (OFG), which does business as Oriental Bank, the people said.

Miriam Warren, a spokeswoman for Doral, declined to comment. Doral dropped 1.7 percent to $5.35 at the close in New York, giving the company a market value of almost $36 million. Earlier, the shares climbed as much as 12 percent.

Doral had 26 branches and $3.5 billion in deposits in Puerto Rico as of June 30, 2013, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s most recent annual deposit market share report. The lender agreed to sell $369 million of non-performing assets on July 14, according to a press release.

Doral is seeking a $229 million tax refund from the Puerto Rican government, which has maintained that it doesn’t owe Doral the money. The matter is under litigation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Monks in New York at mmonks1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Wollman, Steven Crabill

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.