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Friday 24 February 2017

The secrecy

ONE trader likened the hunt for Anglo's senior bondholders to 'Mission Impossible', but then even 'Mission Impossible' had a happy ending.

You might reasonably expect Anglo to have a full list, since the bank sold all the bonds in the first place and regularly pays interest to all the investors who hold them.

Sources point out, however, that Anglo's bonds could have changed hands hundreds of times without anyone notifying the banks.

The interest payments are routed through a middleman, Euroclear, which prides itself on complete confidentiality and wouldn't hand over the list even if Anglo asked.

"The bank would know who's ringing it up asking questions, so it would have a fair idea from that side," said one source, "but there'll be some bondholders who don't ring up at all."

Anglo is the Government's main source of information, with the Department of Finance confirming the bank has told the "broad holders" of its debt.

Sources confirm that a number of callers have phoned the department looking for clarifications on Brian Lenihan's various statements around how bondholders will be treated.

Unfortunately, however, no one has identified themselves as an actual bondholder and no bondholder has met or talked to the minister.

The only tangible source of bondholder information is financial data giant Bloomberg, which painstakingly goes through the reports filed by asset management companies and plucks out details of bonds.

The data is far from complete but is the only list available.

Just 4pc of Anglo's total bonds are accounted for.

Mission 4pc complete then. Yippee.

Irish Independent

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