(Adds CEO comments, share movement)
By Noor Zainab Hussain
Aug 31 (Reuters) - European debt purchaser and manager Arrow Global said it sees more opportunities to buy non-performing loans (NPLs) and non-core assets from banks in Europe, driven by the continued reform of the region’s banking sector.
Collection companies such as Arrow Global, Intrum and Hoist Finance have benefited from the fact that Europe’s banks are under pressure from regulators to offload the almost 1 trillion euros of non-performing loans on their books.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) expects bank’s boards to have a strategy in place for dealing with non performing loans, while the European Union is consulting on plans to strengthen the secondary market for NPLs, which may boost demand.
“When those strategies are in place, they (EBA) will then hold those bank boards accountable for delivering the strategies,” Lee Rochford, Arrow’s chief executive told Reuters.
“There are lots of proactive moves particularly in Europe where it has been a little bit slower than it has here in UK in terms of shifting non performing loans,” he added.
Deloitte, one of the world’s top four accounting firms, said in a report that the European loan portfolio market had a slow start in the first half of 2017, as sellers and investors pushed deals into the second half of the year.
However, with a large number of ongoing deals still in the pipeline for the second half, the total market for 2017 is currently set to exceed the record deal making of the previous two years when over 100 billion euros ($118.83 billion)of deals were concluded, Arrow said. (bit.ly/2xOCPy5)
The eurozone’s bad debts are finally beginning to fall, according to ECB data released in April, but still stand at some 931 billion euros.
Arrow reported a 35.5 percent rise in first-half underlying profit after tax on Thursday, driven by a jump in debt collections and revenue from asset management.
The company said it had acquired debt portfolios with a face value of 968.2 million pounds ($1.25 billion) for a purchase price of 125.1 million pounds in the period ended June, up 30.3 percent from a year earlier.
Shares in Arrow Global were up 5.25 percent at 460.7 pence at 0946 GMT. ($1 = 0.8415 euros) ($1 = 0.7753 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Rachel Armstrong)