Distressed debt deals set to grow in Eastern Europe

22nd August 2016

A growing number of non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio transactions are being concluded in Southeast Europe, with Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Slovenia all expected to see more sales in the near future.

In Slovenia,  the country’s largest bank Nova Ljubljanska Bank (NLB) is selling off €800million worth of NPLs in three tranches, as it cleans its balance sheet ahead of a planned privatisation. The bank announced in July  that it had agreed to sell a package of retail NPLs with a face value of approximately €104million  It was also reported to have concluded a deal to sell a €396milion package of corporate loans at the end of June. The name of the buyer was not disclosed. Slovenia’s state-owned banks have already transferred a large part of their NPL portfolios to the country’s bad bank, the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC).Other Slovenian banks are also considering portfolio sales of the bad loans they still hold.

Greek banks Marfin and Piraeus are also reportedly looking to sell NPL portfolios

Serbia’s second largest lender Komercijalna Banka is set to be privatised and some of its loans are expected to be sold off.

In Bulgaria, since 2014, NPL portfolios have been sold by BNP Paribas, local United Bulgarian Bank and payday loan company TBI Credit, though the largest package sold had a face value of just €50million.