Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:
Hedge funds and other foreign investors are circling Spanish banks to buy bad corporate debt cheaply in the latest sign that the eurozone economy is finally improving, various media reported.
In a report by The Financial Times, it said that at least 30 hedge funds and private equity groups, including Lone Star, Apollo, Cerberus, Centerbridge and Fortress have tendered offers to buy some Euro 300m non-performing portfolio of Sareb bankís residential mortgages.
It added that the portfolio called Abacus, is the first batch of bad debts that Sareb wants to dispose of after it was ordered by the Spanish government to dispose an estimated Euro 50bn in toxic banking assets.
A portfolio adviser involved in several of the deals interviewed by The Financial Times said Spain is attracting plenty of interests recently especially from investors wanting to buy bad corporate loans.
Alejandro Ortiz, a partner at Linklaters in Spain, was quoted by The Financial Times as saying, "We are beginning to see private equity groups who did not have an office in Spain hiring Spanish people and opening offices in Spain."
Spainís gross domestic product jumped 0.1% in the third quarter for the first time after posting nine consecutive quarters of losses.
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