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Interview with APS Real Estate Director Ms. Elpiniki Frantzi

APS has managed assets of 400 million euro so far

  • 250 assets have been managed since July 2017
  • More than 50% of the assets in the company’s initial portfolio have been sold
  • All properties and auctions can be found on APS website www.aps.bid
Elpiniki Frantzi

More than 1250 assets have been onboarded in APS Debt Servicing Cyprus’ portfolio so far, the value of which exceeds €400 million. In the first two years of the company’s operation in Cyprus, assets valued more than €120 million have been sold or reserved, states APS Real Estate Director Ms Elpiniki Frantzi, also pointing out APS significant contribution to Cyprus effort to reduce non-performing loans.

Ms. Frantzi emphasizes that the majority of the assets handled by APS are medium to low value properties, while in the next 9 months the volume of assets that are going to be onboarded by APS will double.

Ms. Frantzi outlines the procedures followed by APS during asset acquisition and management, and points out that the Company applies all legal procedures and operates with reliability, offering high quality of services until the final transfer of the property’s ownership to the buyer.

Ms. Frantzi’s interview follows below:

How many properties have you onboarded so far? What kind of properties are more popular?

We have acquired 1250 properties in total, the value of which ranges around €400 million. More than 60% of these properties are land, nevertheless there is a significant number of properties in commercial and residential buildings.

Taking into consideration the current pipeline, it is estimated that in the next 9 months the volume of assets that are going to be acquired by APS will double.

The highest demand by buyers is observed in mixed use buildings, apartments and houses, as about 60% of the assets from APS portfolio in this category have already been sold.

The lowest liquidity is noticed in land properties, especially in agricultural and protected zones.

APS currently manages a number of assets which are leased to third parties, such as governmental departments and private companies. The portfolio of income generating assets has an average yield of 5%, while certain units achieve a 7% return.

Which methods does APS use for property management?

It is important to point out that APS follows a detailed and comprehensive procedure during asset repossession, ensuring transparency and flexibility throughout the whole process, aiming at the reduction of non-performing loans, which is the ultimate goal of the Republic of Cyprus.

APS handles Hellenic Bank’s assets, and has recently bought part of Bank of Cyprus’ portfolio. Asset repossession can be achieved either via a consensual agreement, i.e. Debt to Asset Swap or via the legal route (foreclosure). APS applies all legal procedures until the property is transferred to the buyer. It is worth mentioning that foreclosures are applied as the last resort for non-cooperative customers or strategic defaulters.

Following the asset repossession, APS applies all suitable property management procedures, aiming to maximize the properties’ marketability and value, while minimizing risks before selling them.

The types of properties that are repossessed are selected in a way so that neither the Bank nor the owner is exposed. The required research and Due Diligence are always conducted, in order to minimize such risks of exposure.

During assets management, properties may also be promoted for rent, if such an action is deemed to increase the asset’s marketability.

Which is your buyers’ profile?

Our two-year experience in the Cyprus market indicates that the majority of buyers prefer residential units, followed by commercial assets.

As I have mentioned before, apartments appear to be the preferred residential property of local buyers.

Seaside properties are of high demand, with increasing or stable prices.  Buyers are either locals or foreign investors, mainly from non-EU countries, depending on the property types.

Locals are mostly interested in smaller residential units or city centre properties. High end investors are more interested in commercial and touristic units, especially seafront properties.

Limassol keeps being on the lead of investment preference, keeping its prices on high levels. The sustainability of the high prices in Limassol remains to be tested in the near future.

Can you tell us about the structure of APS Real Estate and about the way you operate?

APS Real Estate consists of the Real Estate Management Unit, which deals with real estate operations, such as onboarding, asset management, sales, the Foreclosures Unit and the Insolvency Unit. APS numbers 170 professionals, 40 out of which are employed in the Real Estate Unit.

APS invests in creating a dynamic top-class Real Estate Division, with highly skilled, experienced and trained employees.

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