Credit Suisse Offloading Property Loans

PARIS: Credit Suisse is selling a US$2.8 billion property portfolio in one of the largest bank sales of distressed loans since the 2008 financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The Swiss banking giant is to sell the portfolio for US$1.2 billion (913 million euros) to Apollo Management LP, the newspaper reported.

The loans were for apartment buildings in Germany and hotels in a number of European countries in areas hard hit by the economic crisis, it said citing sources familiar with the sale.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP.

Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis there have been relatively few sales of distressed property loan portfolios by banks to private equity firms, who often later make large profits after restructuring the loans or seizing the properties.

The Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying the Credit Suisse had already written down the value of the portfolio and that the bank may share in any gains realised by Apollo as it is taking an equity stake in the company as part of the deal.

Credit Suisse had been heavily active in making property loans and then selling them on to other investors, but succeeded in reducing its exposure as the crisis approached.

It had US$2.5 billion in commercial property loans at the end of the third quarter of 2010, said the newspaper.

Source: – AFP/ir

What dos this mean to us as real estate investors? While the scenario painted looked and sound like gloomy weather ahead, it does provide some insights and opportunity for investors to “to enter the market” while bank interest rates are still a all time low, while the US is almost zero. Leverage and ride the wave to invest in hard assets and look around and talk to people who are investors rather than talking to people who seemed to know well of the market but do not invest.

The next issue we should pay attention to is the cost of raising inflation, which is primarily cost related. Till then, will see how the world is reacting to this… Awesome! :)

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