Greece

This week’s collapse of Greece’s coalition government comes at a delicate time for the country’s suffering financial sector, the Financial Times reported. Over the weekend Alexis Tsipras, prime minister, called a confidence vote in his government after Panos Kammenos, defence minister, resigned in protest over a deal with Macedonia to end a dispute over its name. If the Syriza government loses, there will be early elections. This would, temporarily at least, disrupt plans for government involvement in much-needed bank reform.

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Greece’s Public Power Corp (PPC) will continue to supply debt-laden Larco, Europe’s biggest nickel producer, with electricity until next month, extending a previous deadline which expires later on Monday, Reuters reported. Larco, which is 55 percent owned by the Greek state, owes about 280 million euros ($319 million) in unpaid electricity bills to state-controlled power utility PPC, also a minority shareholder in the company.

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Famar, a contract manufacturer to pharmaceutical industries, has completed a 174 million euro ($197 million) debt restructuring and secured new funds from private equity-backed Pillarstone to strengthen its capital position, Reuters reported. Pillarstone is a platform set up by private equity firm KKR and John Davison in 2015 to partner with European banks to create value by managing their on-balance sheet non-core assets. Pillarstone’s Greek subsidiary has been licensed by the Bank of Greece to provide long-term capital to large corporate borrowers and manage banks’ sour loans.

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Greece has quietly postponed a landmark bond sale after the prolonged sell-off in Italy’s bond market pushed up its cost of raising new debt, the Financial Times reported. The nation’s leftwing Syriza government had hoped to issue a benchmark 10-year bond within a few weeks of the country’s exit from its €86bn third bailout in August, as a signal to investors that Greece had returned to normalcy.

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Greece’s Eurobank Ergasias SA isn’t waiting around for a state rescue, with a plan to sell about 7 billion euros ($8 billion) of troubled loans and merge with a real estate fund, Bloomberg News reported. As part of the plan, the bank will merge with real estate fund Grivalia Properties REIC to create a new business named Eurobank, the two companies said. It will then shift non-performing debt to a separate vehicle that will issue senior, mezzanine and junior notes that the bank will initially retain. Some of the lower level notes would then be sold off to investors.

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Greece is at risk of missing a first tranche of ECB profit returns on Greek bond holdings due to delays in the pace of privatisations despite over-performance on its fiscal targets, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. About 4.8 billion euros ($5.48 billion) of profits from Greek bonds held by the European Central Bank and other eurozone central banks are supposed to be channelled back to Athens by June, 2022, in semi-annual tranches, as agreed with Greece’s lenders under a post-bailout agreement, Reuters reported.

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Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc said on Tuesday it has received a $681 million “stalking horse bid” by Swiss commodities trader Mercuria Energy Group Ltd, Reuters reported. The proposal has been filed with the U.S. bankruptcy court for the southern district of New York, the marine fuel logistics company said in a statement. The stalking horse agreement would imply that any other bids that come in must be higher than the offer from Mercuria. Earlier this month, Aegean Marine and some of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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Troubled Greek jewelry maker Folli Follie has asked for protection from creditors in order to finalise a restructuring plan, it said in a statement on Thursday. “The application for the granting of protective measures was submitted in order to secure the time frame needed to finalise the terms of the company’s restructuring plan,” it said. Securing interim protection would mitigate the risk of a large number of job losses in Greece and abroad, Follie said, adding it had “strong support of over 50 percent of its unsecured creditors,” Reuters reported.

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Greece’s central bank is working on a plan to help banks cut their bad debts in half, the latest effort to restore trust in the country’s financial system, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Under the proposal, Greek lenders would transfer about half of their deferred tax claims to a special purpose vehicle, which would then sell bonds and use the proceeds to buy some 42 billion euros ($47 billion) of bad loans from the lenders, according to the people. They asked not to be identified because the plan hasn’t been finalized yet, Bloomberg News reported.

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Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, one of the world’s largest traders of shipping fuel, has filed for bankruptcy protection in New York, allowing the company to undergo a restructuring with the help of rival trader Mercuria as a precursor to putting itself up for sale, the Financial Times reported. The move into Chapter 11 follows the confirmation last week of a write-off of $200m of expected payments that Aegean said “lacked economic substance”, adding that another $100m may have been “misappropriated through fraudulent activities”.

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