Portugal’s Novo Banco Said Selling $250 Million Property AssetsHenrique Almeida
Novo Banco SA, the Portuguese lender that emerged from the bailout of Banco Espirito Santo, is seeking to sell a portfolio of commercial properties valued at about 200 million euros ($250 million), three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The portfolio consists of fewer than 20 assets and belongs to the Lisbon-based bank’s asset-management unit, ESAF-Espirito Santo Activos Financeiros, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The properties include shops, offices and warehouses, one of the people said.
The sale would be among the biggest real estate deals in the country since 2006, when Portuguese family-controlled company Jose de Mello SGPS SA sold a portfolio to JP Morgan Asset Management for 260 million euros. A spokesman for Novo Banco wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Portuguese commercial real estate investment is set to rebound this year after the country completed a 78 billion-euro emergency aid program in May. Investment will climb to as much as 800 million euros this year from 322 million euros in 2013, according to estimates by Cushman & Wakefield.
Banco Espirito Santo, once Portugal’s biggest lender by market value, was bailed out on Aug. 3 after regulators ordered it to raise more capital following the disclosure of potential losses on loans to some of its parent companies. Novo Banco was created when the central bank moved the bank’s deposit-taking units including ESAF into a new company.
Following the 4.9 billion-euro bailout, the Bank of Portugal’s Resolution Fund now owns Novo Banco.