CaixaBank sells €1 billion in 10-year mortgage covered bonds below Spanish Treasury bonds' price

On Tuesday the Barcelona-based bank, which is the largest financial entity within the Spanish market, attracted a strong €2.6 billion demand, 88% of which came from international investors. It was CaixaBank's 10-year mortgage covered bond first issue since 2007, before the financial crisis. The operation will boost the Catalan bank's liquidity position, which stood at €60.762 billion at year-end 2013, 17.9% of its total assets. In addition, it satisfies demand from institutional investors for this product. The issue price was 80 basis points over the mid-swap rate and better than expected thanks to strong investor demand. This means CaixaBank sold the mortgage covered bonds at an interest rate of 2.625%, 67 basis points below the last rate for a similar issue by the Spanish Treasury.

CaixaBank's headquarters, located in Barcelona's Diagonal Avenue (by ACN)
CaixaBank's headquarters, located in Barcelona's Diagonal Avenue (by ACN) / ACN


March 12, 2014 06:11 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday Barcelona-based CaixaBank, which is Spain's largest bank by market share, completed its first 10-year mortgage covered bond issue since 2007, selling a total of €1 billion and attracting demand in excess of €2.6 billion. The success of the issue was reflected in the price, set 80 basis points above the mid-swap rate, used as a benchmark for such issues. This means 67 basis points below the last rate for a similar issue by the Spanish Treasury. Thanks to a good performance from the Catalan bank's issue, the initial spread narrowed by nearly 10 basis points, with the coupon finally standing at 2.625% interest rate.

This new mortgage covered bonds issue reinforces CaixaBank’s liquidity position, which stood at €60,762 million (€60.76 billion) at year-end 2013, representing 17.9% of the Catalan bank's total assets. Meanwhile the bank, chaired by Isidre Fainé, also kept up its high solvency levels, with a core capital ratio (Basel II) at year-end 2013 of 12.9%, after generating 193 basis points over the year and recording a Basel III fully loaded core capital ratio of 11.7%.

Strong international demand

CaixaBank, which has Joan Maria Nin as CEO, capitalised on positive market conditions to kick off its corporate issue program this year. In a press release, the financial entity states that this "demonstrates the market’s confidence in the bank and the value that investors place in its strengths". Tuesday's issue "was very well received by institutional investors, attracting more than 150 orders", the bank reported. Demand from institutional investors stood out at 88% of the total, "which again revealed powerful international interest in CaixaBank issues" added the press release.

Successful CaixaBank issues in 2013

CaixaBank’s total amount issued in 2013 stood at €5,344 million, which attracted a strong demand from institutional investors for each issue. The Catalan financial entity considered them "a great success". Over the full year CaixaBank issued €3.0 billion in senior bonds, a €1bn issue of mortgage covered bonds, a 750 million issue of subordinated bonds and a €594mn issue of bonds exchangeable for Repsol stock.

CaixaBank stated that it is expecting its last mortgage covered bond issue to receive credit ratings of A1 and AA- from Moody’s and Standard&Poor’s respectively. The operation's underwriters were CaixaBank, Crédit Agricole, HSBC, JP Morgan and UBS.