Lenders pre­pare to re­struc­ture cor­po­rate loans of 5 bln eu­ros

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY DIM­I­TRA MANIFAVA & YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

Banks are pre­par­ing a ma­jor en­deavor to re­struc­ture prob­lem­atic cor­po­rate loans which ex­tend across four key busi­ness sec­tors and add up to some 5-5.5 bil­lion eu­ros.

In the com­ing weeks and months the credit sec­tor aims to tackle loans worth 1.1 bil­lion eu­ros in the steel in­dus­try (of which about half are non­per­form­ing), a bil­lion taken out by car deal­er­ships, 2-2.5 bil­lion eu­ros in ho­tel com­pa­nies’ bad loans and an­other bil­lion con­cern­ing hos­pi­tal sup­pli­ers.

At the same time, de­spite ma­jor de­lays, banks have pro­ceeded to the re­struc­tur­ing and stream­lin­ing of nine ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions, tack­ling bad loans that add up to 1.7 bil­lion eu­ros. They con­cern fish farm­ing com­pa­nies Dias, Selonda and Nireus, su­per­mar­ket chains Veropou­los and Marinopou­los, as well as Vovos, Davaris, Mail­lis and Nikas. Veropou­los has now been suc­cess­fully ab­sorbed by Metro and Marinopou­los taken over by Sklaveni­tis.

Those moves have kept alive the above enterprises, which have com­bined as­sets of 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros, to­tal turnover of 2 bil- lion eu­ros per an­num, and some 14,000 em­ploy­ees, with Marinopou­los ac­count­ing for the ma­jor­ity of that. Af­ter re­struc­tur­ing, the loan obli­ga­tions of the com­pa­nies have been re­duced by 50 per­cent.

In the com­ing pe­riod a new se­ries of stream­lin­ing ef­forts at large busi­ness groups is ex­pected, along with court de­vel­op­ments. It is es­ti­mated that the stream­lin­ing agree­ment for fuel com­pany Je­toil will have been signed by March 24, so that it can be sub­mit­ted for court ap­proval.

Be­sides the re­struc­tur­ings of ma­jor groups, in the 2015-16 pe- riod lenders pro­ceeded to the re­set­tle­ment of loans taken out by 80,000-100,000 small and medium-sized enterprises adding up to more than 6 bil­lion eu­ros, in or­der for them to bet­ter han­dle the im­pact of the eco­nomic cri­sis.

Tack­ling NPLs con­sti­tutes the great­est chal­lenge faced not only by the credit sec­tor but also the econ­omy in gen­eral to­ward its re­cov­ery. The Bank of Greece has re­peat­edly high­lighted the need for co­or­di­nated ac­tion by banks to face the prob­lems on a per­ma­nent ba­sis with long-term in­ter­ven­tions.

Banks are pre­par­ing to re­struc­ture cor­po­rate loans taken out by steel­mak­ers, car deal­er­ships, the ho­tel mar­ket and hos­pi­tal sup­pli­ers.

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