Com­plex rules de­lay NPL han­dling per­mits

Kathimerini English - - Focus - EVGENIA TZORTZI

The rea­son for the de­lay ob­served in the li­cens­ing of com­pa­nies to man­age non­per­form­ing loans – whose ap­pli­ca­tions have risen to 10, up from seven sub­mit­ted by De­cem­ber – is the par­tic­u­larly de­mand­ing in­sti­tu­tional frame­work. Out of the can­di­date com­pa­nies, just one has re­ceived a li­cense, with the other nine still pend­ing.

Be­sides Ak­tua, a joint ven­ture set up by the Span­ish com­pany of the same name and Al­pha Bank, which is the only one to have ob­tained a per­mit to date, Eurobank is also on the list for se­cur­ing a li­cense. The new com­pany it will set up to man­age non­per­form­ing loans, FPS, will re­sult from the merger and evo­lu­tion of the debt man­age­ment com­pa­nies that the Eurobank Group had un­til re­cently, and sources say it will be the next to get a li­cense from the Bank of Greece – prob­a­bly very soon.

The long list of en­ter­prises to have ap­plied in­cludes ma­jor debt man­agers such as LXM, Cen­ter­bridge, Kaican and Al­varez & Marsal. It also in­cludes US fund KKR through its Euro­pean debt man­age­ment plat­form, Pil­lar­stone. The fact that none of the NPL man­age­ment mar­ket’s big names has been li­censed is in­dica­tive of the dif­fi­cul­ties iden­ti­fied in the ex­ist­ing le­gal frame­work, mainly ex­ces­sive reg­u­la­tions and bu­reau­cracy.

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