UPDATE 1-Irish bid to burn Anglo snr bonds recedes

Thu Sep 8, 2011 12:15pm EDT

* $1 bln euro Anglo Irish snr unsecured bond to mature on Nov. 2

* ECB reaffirms opposition to any haircut

* CEO Aynsley says would bet against ECB agreement (Recasts with Tichet opposing bond haircut, adds analyst)

By Conor Humphries

DUBLIN, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Ireland's slim chances of being allowed to impose losses on unsecured senior bonds at Anglo Irish Bank receded further on Thursday as the European Central reiterated its opposition and the bank's CEO said it appeared unlikely.

The government has pledged to try to impose a haircut on some of 3.5 billion euros in senior bonds at Anglo and fellow failed lender Irish Nationwide building society in a bid to cut the taxpayers losses.

But ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet on Thursday reiterated his opposition at a press conference in Frankfurt, saying there was "absolutely no change" to its position.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said he hopes to hold talks with Trichet at an informal meeting of EU finance ministers in Wroclaw, Poland next week.

Around $1 billion of approximately 3.5 billion euros of senior unsecured bonds from the two lenders are due to mature on Nov. 2, leaving the government with little time to secure approval.

Anglo CEO Mike Aynsley said agreement would have to be secured before Nov. 2 maturity and that now appeared unlikely.

"The stance of the ECB has been pretty clear in the past. I wouldn't mind betting that they will continue to oppose it," Mike Aynsley told reporters in Dublin.

Aynsley said the value of trying to do a consensual buyback of Anglo's senior unsecured paper due to mature in November was "questionable", given it was trading at over 90 cents in the euro.

He said a consensual buyback of longer-termed paper selling at closer to 70 cents in the euro might be possible, but that it would require the agreement of European authorities.

"The bond itself is trading at about 90 cent on the euro so the market is basically saying that there is a good chance it will be redeemed on par," said Oliver Gilvarry, head of research at Dublin-based Dolmen Securities, referring to the Nov. 2 tranche.

"If Ireland is to impose any haircut it needs agreement before then," he said.

Speaking to an audience of chartered accountants in Dublin on Thursday, Aynsley said a deal to sell its $9.5 billion U.S. commercial real estate loan portfolio would be signed "in the next week or two."

Sources told Reuters last month that Wells Fargo , JP Morgan Chase & Co and Lone Star Funds were the winners of the portfolio, and that the total price paid was between $7 billion and $8 billion.

Aynsley declined to comment on the results of the sale. (Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by David Hulmes)

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