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April 1, 2010

News in brief

Ubi Leasing, Italys third-largest leasing company, increased its market share in 2009, despite a fall in volume and profit The Brescia-headquartered lessor, which is part of Ubi Banca, recorded a new business volume of almost 2.1bn, 25% down compared with the previous year

By Verdict Staff

Ubi increases market share

Ubi Leasing, Italy’s third-largest leasing company, increased its market share in 2009, despite a fall in volume and profit. The Brescia-headquartered lessor, which is part of Ubi Banca, recorded a new business volume of almost €2.1bn, 25% down compared with the previous year. Net income was €11.6m, down from €43.8m in 2008. But its market share increased around 1% to 7.94%, the company said. The number of contracts last year was 10,653 and the average value €194,802. Real estate leasing still represented more than half of Ubi Leasing’s business (with €1.2bn of new production). The lessor said it saw a growth in renewable energy business, totalling €148m.


VR Factorem customers increase

Germany’s VR Factorem increased its customers last year despite the financial crisis. The factoring business, a joint venture between VR Leasing (which owns 74.9% of the company) and France’s Natixis Factor, said its number of customers rose by 15.5%. The company’s turnover declined by 3% in 2009 compared to the previous year, totalling €1.83bn – better than the rest of the market, which fell more by than 7%. VR Factorem CEO Hauke Kahlcke said the company has heavily focused on the customers of the co-operative banking network under the DZ Bank umbrella, which includes approximately 1,000 cooperative banks. The company continues to have an “optimistic outlook” for 2010.


Banco Sabadell launches new product for Spanish SMEs

Banco Sabadell has launched a new product for Spanish SME-sized companies. Spain’s fourth-largest banking group said its BS Negocios is “specifically designed for the needs of businesses”, and aims to gain a leading position in the country’s SME sector. It said its services will include leasing, rentals and loans under “preferential conditions”, as well as discounts on business protection insurance. Banco Sabadell corporate banking director Carlos Ventura said: “In just one month, we have managed to attract more than 6,000 new clients, which demonstrates the excellent response that BS Negocios is having among businesses, the self-employed and small firms.” BS Negocios’ goal is to achieve 40,000 clients by the end of 2010, the bank said.


Grenkeleasing and NRW Bank sign partnership

Grenkeleasing AG and NRW Bank, the development banks for North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s richest state, have signed an agreement to support local small and medium-sized enterprises. The agreement allows preferential financing to firms which intend to lease IT and office equipment with Grenkeleasing, the two companies have said. Eligibility criteria include that firms are based in North Rhine-Westphalia, and have an annual turnover of up to €500m. The scheme, which runs until the end of August, is for leasing contracts between one and seven years in length.


Deutsche Leasing posts €8.3bn new business

Deutsche Leasing saw new business volume fall 8% to €8.3bn in its 2008-2009 financial year ending 31 October. Domestic new business was 7% down to €5.2bn, while foreign new business declined 11% to €1.4bn. The group parent, Deutsche Sparkassen Leasing, reported net profit at the prior year’s level with €32.5m. Deutsche Leasing CEO Hans-Michael Heitmüller said: “Defaults and crumbling resale values prevented us from matching the previous year’s new business-based operating result. “Considering the economic environment, however, we can still be proud of our operating earnings.” Germany’s largest lessor forecasts a “markedly lower new business volume for the first half of its current financial”, having implemented a number of risk policies which prevent higher new business acquisition.


Europe’s CV registrations fall 12% in January

Europe’s CV registrations were 12.3% down in January 2010 compared with one year before, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). Light commercial vehicles declined 5.2%, totalling 105,522 new vans. LCV registrations increased in Italy by 21.8% and in France by 7.5%. They were 1.8% down in both Germany and the UK. Registrations of trucks between 3.5 tonnes and 16 tonnes fell another 40% in January to 15,756 units. Almost all markets contracted, from a 13% drop recorded in Poland to a 70% drop in Bulgaria. Heavier trucks dropped 43.5% to 10,961 units. Although Germany remained the largest market, HGV registrations in the country fell by 40%.


SGEF, BPLG and DLL win Microsoft’s vendor programme

SG Equipment Finance (SGEF) has scooped a deal to provide finance to Microsoft’s customers in four European countries. The Paris-based lessor will provide financing solutions to major clients of the Microsoft Enterprise and Partner Group in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. This follows news last month that BNP Paribas Lease Group (BPLG) had won a deal to provide finance to Microsoft’s SME-sized customers and resellers in these four European countries. SGEF has also won Microsoft Financing’s Brazil contract, while De Lage Landen, which originally bought the entire vendor programme from CIT, announced earlier this month that it had won the contract for the UK and Canada. This followed earlier announcements that it had won Microsoft’s vendor finance contracts in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, as well as in both Australia and New Zealand.


VUB Bank acquires 100% of Slovak lessor

Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo has strengthened its presence in the Slovak leasing market, after its subsidiary VÚB Banka gained full control of VÚB Leasing. Bratislava-based VÚB Banka, of which Intesa owns a 97% stake, already owned 70% of the lessor. It recently completed the acquisition of the remaining 30% stake from Prva Slovenska Investicna Skupina, a Bratislava-based company. The company’s new CEO, Miloš Bikár, said his goal was to “relaunch VÚB Leasing so the company’s position is close to the market position of VÚB Banka”. VÚB Banka is ranked as one of the top-three banks by market share in Slovakia.

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