May 24, 2019 / 11:38 AM / 4 months ago

Greek JV between StormHarbour and Italy's Fire gets bad loan servicing licence-source

MILAN, May 24 (Reuters) - A Greek joint-venture between Italian debt collector Fire and investment firm StormHarbour has secured a licence to operate in the country’s impaired loan market, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Under the licence granted by Greece’s central bank, the joint-venture will be able to offer recovery and advisory services for all types of non-performing loans in the country.

Dubbed EuPraxis FSI, the joint-venture will be headquartered in Athens.

Debt collection firms such as Fire have started looking beyond Italy, whose soured bank loan market peaked at 360 billion euros in 2015-2016 and has since shrunk to 189 billion.

Like their Italian peers, Greek banks are under pressure from regulators to cut their impaired debt burden below 10 percent of total loans.

Following a multi-year debt crisis that shrank the economy by a quarter, Greek banks held 85 billion euros in soured loans in September last year, or 47 percent of total loans.

Reporting by Valentina Za

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