B2Kapital gets central bank permission to buy NPLs

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By Stelios Orphanides

B2Kapital Cyprus Ltd, which entered an agreement with Hellenic Bank to acquire €145m of loans more than four months ago, said that it received green light from the supervisor.

The Central Bank of Cyprus granted B2Kapital, a subsidiary of Norway’s B2Holding Group, licence number 115.1.34.6 allowing it to operate as a credit acquiring company, under the sale of credit facilities and related matters law of 2015, the Limassol-based company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

The price of the transaction announced by Hellenic in January remains undisclosed.

B2Holding which employees 2,400 “experts” in 23 countries in Europe, and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, is “one of the top 10 debt buyers and portfolio managers” in the European market of non-performing loans, the company said.

It added that it views the island, whose banking sector is struggling with a €22bn mountain of delinquent loans, almost half of its banks’ loan portfolio, “as an interesting market with growth potential”.

The company said that its parent company is rated Ba3 by Moody’s Investors Service and BB- by Standard & Poor’s with both ratings carrying a stable outlook.

In 2015, Cyprus introduced legislation allowing the sale of loans to third parties as part of the terms of its bailout agreed with international creditors in 2013. B2Kapital’s agreement with Hellenic Bank is the biggest of the type announced so far.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Colin Evans

    I suspect that the holders of some of the NPL’s will, very shortly, be reminded of their need to pay the money that they owe. If not, then, probably, firmer tactics will be employed. The people that buy these debts really know how to squeeze the last drop of juice out of the lemon.

    • SuzieQ

      I do hope so.

    • GSP

      Unless they know of some EU law that negates the local law protecting the NPL shysters, it is very difficult to understand anybody from outside getting involved with this mess.
      Especially an international company who claims to have financial experts on their staff.
      Or are they looking for a tax write-off?

  • Jeremy Rigg

    I am really looking forwards to the developing scenario. Should be great fun.

  • Neroli

    There’s a vast number of ‘lawmakers’with npls , now I would buy a ticket for that!!

  • JS Gost

    So 0.5% of the delinquent loans, although really is could be as low as 0.15% if the ‘real’ figures are used, have been sold. Hoorah. In normal situations like this the first loans to be offered usually have a high chance of recovery and could generate a healthy return for the company involved. However, this is Cyprus, where as we speak the laws are being changed to to further protect those who borrowed money with no intention of paying it back. Coupled with our toxic reputation for all things economic I can see about 10% of the delinquent loans actually being sold. So what happens with the other €54,000,000,000 that will be sitting on the banks books ?

    The lyrics seemed so relevant in 2013, particularly the second verse —

    ‘There may be trouble ahead
    But while there’s moonlight and music
    And love and romance
    Let’s face the music and dance

    Before the fiddlers have fled
    Before they ask us to pay the bill
    And while we still
    Have the chance

    ….now it is too late for any sort of fix, Crisis 2 is the only outcome.

  • Barry White

    Down trews time at the cafe.

  • Jim

    Good luck with trying to collect on your investment. This is Cyprus.