| LONDON, April 11
LONDON, April 11 Several banks are selling their
loan exposure to listed Spanish media giant Promotora de
Informaciones (Prisa) after its recent debt
restructuring as distressed investors offer attractive pricing
for the paper.
Banks, which were traditionally buy and hold investors, are
becoming more willing to sell loans as they take a more
proactive approach to managing their exposure in stressed and
The growth of the distressed investor base means that banks
can get a better price for these loans, which have previously
sold at punitive discounts.
BNP Paribas is selling a 50 million euro ($69.40 million)
block of loans in Prisa in Europe's secondary loan market in an
auction. Bids for the tranche 2 and 3 loans are due on Friday
afternoon, banking sources said.
BNP is looking to sell the loans at around 80 percent of
face value, a loan trader said. BNP owns around 100 million
euros of Prisa's debt. HSBC is one of the largest debt holders,
with a position of around 500 million euros, bankers said.
BNP's auction follows a similar sale by Spain's Novagalicia
Bank of around 33 million euros of Prisa's tranche 2 and 3 loans
last week for around 77.5 percent of face value, bankers said.
Prisa restructured nearly 3 billion euros of debt with its
creditors in December. As part of the agreement, Prisa committed
to reduce its debt by a further 900 million euros by 2015 and by
another 600 million euros by 2016 by various options including
debt buy-backs. [ID: nRLP33630a]
"Banks are selling some of their exposure in Prisa now as
they can get a good price. This also pushes up the price at
which the company might conduct a debt buyback," a loan trader
The price of Prisa's loans have risen in Europe's secondary
loan market to 76.3 percent of face value on Thursday compared
to 69 percent of face value at the beginning of March, according
to Thomson Reuters LPC data.
Prisa, BNP and Novagalicia were not immediately available to
($1 = 0.7204 Euros)
(Editing by Tessa Walsh)