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Sport Aareal Bank expects high loan loss provisions again this year.

10:00  24 february  2021
10:00  24 february  2021 Source:   pressfrom.com

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(Bloomberg) - The effects of the corona crisis will again weigh on Aareal Bank AG's results this year. Nevertheless, the Wiesbaden real estate financier expects a return to profitability.

After risk provisioning of 344 million euros last year, Aareal Bank expects further provisions of 125 to 200 million euros for 2021, as stated when the balance sheet figures were presented on Wednesday. In view of the pandemic, the company referred to “unreliably predictable individual loan defaults”.

For the current year, Aareal Bank expects a positive operating result of between 100 and 175 million euros, after a loss of 75 million euros in 2020. Despite the loss, it is planned to distribute a dividend totaling 1.50 euros per share the recommendation of the supervisory authority should be paid in two installments. The first step is to propose a payment of 40 cents per share to the general meeting in May.

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Last year, Aareal Bank sold a 30% stake in the IT subsidiary Aareon to Advent International. For the activist investor Petrus Advisers, that doesn't go far enough. Two weeks ago he called for “a spin-off from Aareon to us shareholders in the second half of 2021 or in the first quarter of 2022 at the latest”. The business of the “software pearl” is too different from the rest of the group. The implicit rating of the bank is negative.

Tafelsilber © Bloomberg Silverware

Petrus is not the only investor who has put pressure on. In 2019, Teleios Capital Partners asked to consider selling Aareon. If only a minority stake were sold, shareholder value would suffer in the long term, he argued at the time.

Aareal pointed out on Wednesday that the growth rate of the subsidiary is to be increased further - “through our own efforts, ie through new, especially digital products and solutions, as well as increased up- and cross-selling in the existing customer base, but also through further acquisitions in this regard ”.

In 2023, Aareal Bank intends to generate an operating profit of around 300 million euros without taking into account possible acquisitions, it said in January. To achieve this, among other things, the financing business is to be expanded and the cost-income ratio in the core area of ​​structured real estate financing is to be reduced to around 40%.

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