Talks with EU-IMF to restructure borrowings
SEEN & HEARD:The Government is in talks with EU and IMF on a new “out-of-court” system to allow small firms to restructure their borrowings, according to the Sunday Business Post.
The paper reports that the Minister for Finance met the chief executives of the three main Irish banks last week to tell them they must resolve the issue of SME debt in a more efficient manner than the banks had dealt with mortgage arrears.
Legislation was recently announced by the Government that will allow struggling SMEs to use the Circuit Court for the examinership process, instead of the more expensive High Court. However, the paper reports that the IMF believes the Government can go further.
Irish banks will step up their asset disposals and sell €4 billion in loan portfolios this year as private equity and other institutional buyers seek bargain, according to PwC. The Sunday Times reports that half of that total will be accounted for by two Lloyds Bank portfolio sales that have already been announced and will be finalised shortly. PwC predicts banks will sell off about €15 billion in European commercial property loans this year.
The private equity backers of global transport group Syncreon are poised to share a windfall of up to €75 million following a refinancing deal on the bond markets. The Sunday Independent reports that this involved an issue of $100 million in bonds, the majority of which is to be used to fund a distribution to shareholders and vested management option holders.
The Dublin Airport Authority has been fined €100,000 over long delays being experienced by passengers passing through security checks at Terminal One, the Sunday Business Post reports. The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) fine relates to one day last September, when passengers had to queue for 32 minutes to present their boarding cards at the security area.
Rogue trader sacked
Lloyds Banking Group has fired a “rogue trader” after the state-backed lender uncovered a scheme designed to inflate the bonus of the executive working in its investment banking arm. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the “irregular” trades were discovered in 2011 in a portfolio of complex financial products that have lost Lloyds, which is 41 per cent owned by the taxpayer, £37 million in the past two years.
Franck Kornmann, the head of hybrid foreign exchange and interest rate trading, was dismissed by Lloyds last February. Another member of staff has also been sacked.