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articles | 30 January 2020

APS helping Cyprus reduce toxic debt

The 2008 financial crisis hit Cypriot banks extraordinarily hard, leaving the sector with an NPL-ratio soaring to a frightening level of 54% in 2014.

In subsequent years, the ratio was reduced to 29.8% (June 2019), with the fastest decrease of -32.2% recorded between Q3 2017 and Q3 2018.

Debt servicing company APS said it has contributed to banks’ deleveraging efforts, leading to a better resilience of the banking sector and an upgrading of the international image of the Cyprus economy.

Martin Machoň, CEO of APS said: “High volumes of non-performing loans have, among other things, a negative impact on the lending capacity of the banks.

But when banks offload their toxic debt through sales, the influx of funds can be used to provide loans to both consumers and companies, promoting growth of the economy and overall prosperity”.

APS, a leading distressed debt investor and servicer in Central and Southeastern Europe, commenced its activities in Cyprus in July 2017, when APS Debt Servicing Cyprus was founded through a joint venture with Hellenic Bank.

APS Debt Servicing Cyprus, led by the Regional Director of Greece & Cyprus,  Magdalena Rotaru, is the first distressed debt servicing platform established in Cyprus, which undertook the management of Hellenic Bank’s non-performing loan portfolio estimated at about €2.1 billion and of real estate assets worth €200 million.

“The enterprise brought solid results and met all business targets,” said Rotaru.

Another milestone was 2019 agreement for servicing €245 million worth unsecured retail loans that APS Loan Management acquired from Bank of Cyprus.

The portfolio comprising ca 8,800 consumer credit loans and 900 small and medium-sized business loans is also being managed by APS Debt Servicing Cyprus.

“Cypriot banks will continue disposing of non-performing loan portfolios in the coming years and APS will continue to support and enhance efforts for resolving the large amount of bad loans in Cyprus,” said APS in a statement

“As an all-encompassing servicing platform in Cyprus, APS has the capability to provide solid results for both its investors and the debtors through solutions to different cases of distressed debt ranging from retail to corporate, secured to unsecured, delivered through its servicing or acquisition function,” it added.

Since 2018, APS has also been operating in the Greek market.

The pool of IFC, EBRD, Balbec Capital and APS has acquired deal Arctos with 200,000 consumer loans, worth €2.3 billion, from Piraeus Bank.

APS Holding is one of the largest debt servicing companies in Europe operating in 16 countries and employs close to 1,000 professionals.

The nominal value of the managed portfolios exceeds €9.4 billion.

Source: Financial Mirror

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