APS bullish on Serbian NPL market

APS bullish on Serbian NPL market
By bne IntelliNews October 8, 2016

Serbia is expected to be an important market for non-performing loan (NPL) transactions in the coming years, the head of transactions at Prague-based debt recovery firm APS Holding SE, Jozef Martinak, told bne IntelliNews on September 6.

The NPL portfolio had been growing within the region for several years as a consequence of the global economic crisis, which heavily affected economies in transition. For banks operating in the Western Balkans, collecting NPLs is a very serious issue that increases risk and negatively affects their business results. NPLs in most countries in the region have been accumulating for about a decade, and banks are actively looking to clean their balance sheets. This situation has created opportunities for distressed debt specialists.

“Typically, you have a foreign investor interest in buying an NPL portfolio with a ticket size which starts above €10mn, but the top ones start looking for a deal somewhere about €50mn. Small ones are usually acquired by local players,” Martinak told told bne IntelliNews on the sidelines of the ninth Southeast Europe Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions Forum in Belgrade. 

Romania, Slovenia and Croatia have attracted a lot of investors in NPL transactions, Martinak added. APS Holding is already present in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and is expanding into Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. The firm recently bought about €81mn worth of NPLs from the Serbian branch of Erste Bank and is currently bidding for an NPL package from the local arm of Italian Intesa.

“You need to be focused on country until it starts bringing fruits - the NPL market happens in waves,” he said.

“For example, the Serbian market is a fragmented market, [with] relatively small banks which can’t sell very large portfolios. We believe Serbia will be the market within the next years,” he added. “On the other hand, in Croatia, we are actively bidding for portfolios and there is a lot to sell now. It is primarily secured corporate portfolios; there is also a retail part and mortgages.”

Serbian NPLs have declined recently but remain high by regional standards. The share of gross NPLs held by Serbian banks stood at 20.9% at the end of March, declining 0.7pp during the first quarter of the year, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) announced in its latest quarterly banking sector report published on June 23.

“Selling off NPLs to funds is the best way to get rid of them and then get back to your core business - approving new credits. This is the fastest and the easiest, as well as the cheapest, way of getting rid of NPLs,” the head of the restructuring and collection department at Erste Bank in Serbia, Gojko Vrcelj, told bne IntelliNews.

 

Related Articles

Belgrade Stock Exchange joins SEE Link platform

The Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) has become an active member of the regional SEE Link network, SEE Link announced on December 5. SEE Link is a project started by the Bulgarian, Macedonian and ... more

Police launch inspection at Serbian utility EPS

Officials from Serbia’s ministry of interior (MUP) visited the country’s national power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) on November 28 and are checking the company's recent business ... more

Hundreds of Serbian public figures urge ombudsman to run for president

Hundreds of public figures and ordinary citizens have appealed to Serbian ombudsman Sasa Jankovic to stand as a non-party candidate in the spring 2017 presidential elections, Belgrade ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss