SPAIN - Ahorro Corporación, the financial services arm of Spain's savings banks, has launched a new vehicle to dispose of over €3bn of defaulted properties on behalf of its banks.
The outlet, called Ahorro Corporacion Soluciones Inmobiliarias (ASCI), will use the savings banks' 17,000 branches to dispose of repossessed properties from individuals and property developers who are unable to meet loan repayments.
Ahorro Corporación claimed in a statement the ASCI would be a "fundamental" tool for reducing and diversifying real estate risk in the present and in the future, by creating value in the medium to long-term.
The ASCI, which is currently backed by 23 of the 42 Spanish savings banks, plans to use the banks' investment departments to help attract institutional and foreign investors.
Spain's largest savings banks, Caja Madrid and La Caixa, have yet to decide whether to take part in the initiative
The ASCI will dispose of all types of properties, with some properties expected to sell at discounts of up to 25%.
Ahorro Corporación said it would later offer its real estate management and advisory services to other market participants and focus primarily on offering alternative real estate investment solutions to international investors.
Ahorro Corporación's shareholders are Spain's 42 savings banks and the Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros (CECA), which have a combined total of over €800bn in assets under management.