AIB sells loans as it trims assets
STATE-owned AIB has sold €300m of European corporate loans to Bank of America Merrill Lynch as it strives to meet targets to ditch €20bn of assets.
The portfolio is made up of stakes held by AIB in widely syndicated loans to a number of European companies -- including Bulgaria Telecom Corp (BTC) and Spanish retailers Cortefiel and Telepizza, according to Reuters' specialist loan market report LPC.
The loans are likely to have changed hands at a steep discount -- loans to Cortefiel, for example, trade at around 36c in the euro. The deal is understood to have been completed in a matter of weeks.
The portfolio is one of three AIB has had on the market in recent weeks. It is also seeking buyers for around €675m of Irish property loans and €500m of UK property and hotel loans.
Meanwhile, the same bank has lost its efforts to have a long-running case against Bank of America and Citibank heard by a jury.
The action arises out of the Rusnak currency-trading debacle which came to light in February 2002. The legal case has been running since 2003.
(Additional reporting Reuters and Bloomberg)