Moody’s Changes Aaa-Rated Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg Outlook To Negative

In a first for Moody's, the rating agency, traditionally about a month after Egan Jones (whose rationale and burdensharing text was virtually copied by Moody's: here and here), has decided to cut Europe's untouchable core, while still at Aaa, to Outlook negative, in the process implicitly downgrading Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg, and putting them in line with Austria and France which have been on a negative outlook since February 13, 2012.The only good news goes to Finland, whose outlook is kept at stable for one simple reason: the country's attempts to collateralize its European bailout exposure, a move which will now be copied by all the suddenly more precarious core European countries.

From the report:

Moody's changes  the outlook to negative on Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg and affirms Finland's Aaa stable rating
 
London, 23 July 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has today revised to negative from stable the outlooks on the Aaa sovereign ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In addition, Moody's has also affirmed Finland's Aaa rating and stable outlook.
 
All four sovereigns are adversely affected by the following two euro-area-wide developments:
 
1.) The rising uncertainty regarding the outcome of the euro area debt crisis given the current policy framework, and the increased susceptibility to event risk stemming from the increased likelihood of Greece's exit from the euro area, including the broader impact that such an event would have on euro area members, particularly Spain and Italy.
 
2.) Even if such an event is avoided, there is an increasing likelihood that greater collective support for other euro area sovereigns, most notably Spain and Italy, will be required. Given the greater ability to absorb the costs associated with this support, this burden will likely fall most heavily on more highly rated member states if the euro area is to be preserved in its current form.
 
These increased risks, in combination with the country-specific considerations discussed below, have prompted the changes in the rating outlooks of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In contrast, Finland's unique credit profile, as discussed below, remains consistent with a stable rating outlook.
 
RATIONALE FOR OUTLOOK CHANGE
 
Today's decision to change to negative the outlooks on the Aaa ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg is driven by Moody's view that the level of uncertainty about the outlook for the euro area, and the potential impact of plausible scenarios on member states, are no longer consistent with stable outlooks.
 
Firstly, while it is not Moody's base case, the risk of an exit by Greece from the euro area has increased relative to the rating agency's expectations earlier this year. In Moody's view, a Greek exit from the monetary union would pose a material threat to the euro. Although Moody's would expect a strong policy response from the euro area in such an event, it would still set off a chain of financial-sector shocks and associated liquidity pressures for sovereigns and banks that policymakers could only contain at a very high cost. Should they fail to do so, the result would be a gradual unwinding of the currency union, which Moody's continues to believe would be profoundly negative for all euro area members. The rating agency has reflected this risk by raising the score for the "Susceptibility to Event Risk" factor in its sovereign rating methodology from "very low" to "low" for these three countries.
 
Secondly, even in the absence of any exit, the contingent liabilities taken on by the strongest euro area sovereigns are rising as a result of European policymakers' continued reactive and gradualist policy response, as is the probability of those liabilities crystallising (as Moody's already observed in a recent Special Comment, entitled "Moody's: EU Summit's Measures Reduce Likelihood of Shocks but at a Cost", published on 5 July 2012). Moody's view remains that this approach will not produce a stable outcome, and will very likely be associated with a series of shocks, which are likely to rise in magnitude the longer the crisis persists. The continued deterioration in Spain and Italy's macroeconomic and funding environment has increased the risk that they will require some kind of external support. The scale of these contingent liabilities is of a materially larger order of magnitude for these countries due to their size and their debt burdens; for example, the size of Spain's economy and government bond market is around double the combined size of those of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Although the rising likelihood of stronger euro area members needing to support other sovereigns has not yet affected Moody's assessment of these sovereigns' "Government Financial Strength" in its rating methodology, the rating agency nevertheless believes that it needs to take some account of the impact that additional financial commitments would have on the assessment of their financial strength, given the material deterioration in these countries' fiscal metrics since 2007. Over the long term, Moody's believes that institutional reforms within the euro area have the potential to strengthen the credit standing of most or all euro area governments; however, over the transitional period (which could last many years), the additional pressure on the strongest nations' balance sheets will increase the pressure on their credit standing.
 
Accordingly, Moody's now has negative outlooks on those Aaa-rated euro area sovereigns whose balance sheets are expected to bear the main financial burden of support -- whether because of the need to expand the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) or the need to develop more ad hoc forms of liquidity support. These countries now comprise Germany and the Netherlands, in addition to Austria and France whose rating outlooks were changed to negative on 13 February 2012. The credit profile of these sovereigns is most affected by the policy dilemma described above.
 
Finland, with its stable outlook, is now the sole exception among the Aaa-rated euro area sovereigns. Although Finland would not be expected to be unaffected by the euro crisis, its net assets (Finland has no debt on a net basis), its small and domestically oriented banking system, its limited exposure to, and therefore relative insulation from, the euro area in terms of trade, and its attempts to collateralise its euro area sovereign support together provide strong buffers which differentiate it from the other Aaas.
 
Today's actions on the four sovereigns' outlooks incorporate the implications of certain euro area developments, such as the rising risk of a Greek exit, the growing likelihood of collective support for other euro area sovereigns, and stalled economic growth. By the end of the third quarter, Moody's will also assess the implications of these developments for Aaa-rated Austria and France, whose rating outlooks were moved to negative from stable in February. Specifically, Moody's will review whether their current rating outlooks remain appropriate or whether more extensive rating reviews are warranted.
 
***
 
MOODY'S CHANGES OUTLOOK ON GERMANY'S Aaa RATING TO NEGATIVE
 
In the context of today's rating actions, Moody's has changed the outlook on Germany's Aaa government bond ratings to negative from stable. The Aaa rating itself remains unchanged.
 
The key drivers of today's action on Germany are:
 
1.) The rising uncertainty regarding the outcome of the euro area debt crisis given the current policy framework, and the increased susceptibility to event risk stemming from the increased likelihood of Greece's exit from the euro area, including the broader impact that such an event would have on euro area members.
 
2.) The rising contingent liabilities that the German government will assume as a result of European policymakers' reactive and gradualist policy response, which comes on top of a marked deterioration in the country's own debt levels relative to pre-crisis levels.
 
3.) The vulnerability of the German banking system to the risk of a worsening of the euro area debt crisis. The German banks' sizable exposures to the most stressed euro area countries, particularly to Italy and Spain, together with their limited loss-absorption capacity and structurally weak earnings, make them vulnerable to a further deepening of the crisis.
 
In a related rating action, Moody's has today changed the outlook to negative from stable for the long-term Aaa rating and short-term P-1 rating of FMS Wertmanagement. Like Germany's Aaa rating, the ratings of this entity remain unchanged.
 
FMS Wertmanagement is a resolution agency or "bad bank" scheme for 100% state-owned Hypo Real Estate (HRE) Group created under the Financial Market Stabilisation legislation in Germany ("Finanzmarktstabilisierungsfondsgesetz" -- FMStFG). The German government has a loss compensation obligation via the government's Financial Market Stabilisation Fund (SoFFin) who owns FMS Wertmanagement.
Moody's views FMS Wertmanagement's creditworthiness as being linked to that of the German government because the government remains generally responsible for any losses and any liquidity shortfalls of FMS Wertmanagement.
 
--RATIONALE FOR NEGATIVE OUTLOOK
 
As indicated in the introduction to this press release, the first rating driver underlying Moody's decision to change the outlook on Germany's Aaa bond rating to negative is the level of uncertainty about the outlook for the euro area and the impact that this has on the country's susceptibility to event risk. Specifically, the material risk of a Greek exit from the euro area exposes core countries such as Germany to a risk of shock that is not commensurate with a stable outlook on their Aaa rating. The elevated event risk in turn increases the probability that the contingent liabilities will eventually crystallise, with Germany bearing a significant share of the overall liabilities.
 
The second and interrelated driver of the change in outlook to negative is the increase in contingent liabilities that is associated with even the most benign scenario of a continuation of European leaders' reactive and gradualist approach to policymaking. The likelihood is rising that the strong euro area states will need to commit significant resources in order to deepen banking integration in the euro area and to protect a wider range of euro area sovereigns, including large member states, from market funding stress. As the largest euro area country, Germany bears a significant share of these contingent liabilities. The contingent liabilities stem from bilateral loans, the EFSF, the European Central Bank (ECB) via the holdings in the Securities Market Programme (SMP) and the Target 2 balances, and -- once established -- the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
 
The third rating driver is based on the German banking system's vulnerability to the risk of a worsening of the euro area debt crisis.
German banks have sizable exposures to the most stressed euro area countries, particularly to Italy and Spain. Moody's cautions that the risks emanating from the euro area crisis go far beyond the banks'
direct exposures, as they also include much larger indirect effects on other counterparties, the regional economy and the wider financial system. The German banks' limited loss-absorption capacity and structurally weak earnings make them vulnerable to a further deepening of the crisis.
 
--RATIONALE FOR GERMANY'S UNCHANGED Aaa RATING
 
Germany remains a Aaa-rated credit as its creditworthiness is underpinned by the country's advanced and diversified economy and a tradition of stability-oriented macroeconomic policies. High productivity growth and strong world demand for German products have allowed the country to establish a broad economic base with ample flexibility, generating high income levels. Germany's current account surplus supports the resiliency of the economy. Moreover, Germany enjoys high levels of investor confidence, which are reflected in very low debt funding costs, leading to very high debt affordability.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATING DOWN
 
Germany's Aaa rating could potentially be downgraded if Moody's were to observe a prolonged deterioration in the government's fiscal position and/or the economy's long-term strength that would take debt metrics outside scores that are commensurate with a Aaa rating. This could happen if (1) the German government needed to use its balance sheet to support the banking system, leading to a material increase in general government debt levels; (2) any country were to exit the European monetary union, as such an event is expected to set off a chain of financial-sector shocks and associated liquidity pressures for sovereigns that would entail very high cost for wealthy countries such as Germany, and cause contingent liabilities from the euro area to increase; (3) debt-refinancing costs were to rise sharply following a loss of safe-haven status.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE OUTLOOK BACK TO STABLE
 
Conversely, the rating outlook could return to stable if a benign outlook for the euro area, reduced stress in non-core countries and less adverse macroeconomic conditions in Europe in general were to ease medium-term uncertainties with regard to the country's debt trajectory.
 
***
 
MOODY'S CHANGES THE OUTLOOK ON THE NETHERLANDS' Aaa RATING TO NEGATIVE
 
Moody's Investors Service has today changed the outlook on the Netherlands' Aaa government bond rating to negative from stable. The Aaa rating itself remains unchanged.
 
The key drivers of today's action on the Netherlands are:
 
1.) The rising uncertainty regarding the outcome of the euro area debt crisis given the current policy framework, and the increased susceptibility to event risk stemming from the increased likelihood of Greece's exit from the euro area, including the broader impact that such an event would have on euro area members.
 
2.) The rising contingent liabilities that the Dutch government will assume as a result of European policymakers' reactive and gradualist policy response, which comes on top of a marked deterioration in the country's own debt levels relative to pre-crisis levels.
 
3.) The Netherlands' own domestic vulnerabilities, specifically the weak growth outlook, high household indebtedness, and falling house prices, whose impact is amplified by this heightened event risk.
 
--RATIONALE FOR NEGATIVE OUTLOOK
 
As indicated in the introduction of this press release, the first driver underlying Moody's decision to change the outlook on the Netherlands' Aaa bond rating to negative is the level of uncertainty about the outlook for the euro area and the impact that this has on the country's susceptibility to event risk. Specifically, the material risk of a Greek exit from the euro area exposes core countries such as the Netherlands to a risk of shock that is not commensurate with a stable outlook on their Aaa ratings. The elevated event risk in turn increases the probability that further contingent liabilities will eventually crystallise, with the Netherlands bearing a significant share of the overall liabilities.
 
The second and interrelated driver of the change in outlook to negative is the increase in contingent liabilities that is associated with even the most benign scenario of a continuation of European leaders' reactive and gradualist approach to policymaking. The likelihood is rising that the strong euro area states will need to commit significant resources in order to deepen banking integration in the euro area and to protect a wider range of euro area sovereigns, including large member states, from market funding stress. As a large, wealthy euro area country, the Netherlands bears a significant share of these contingent liabilities.
The contingent liabilities stem from bilateral loans, the EFSF, the European Central Bank (ECB) via the holdings in the Securities Market Programme (SMP) and the Target 2 balances, and -- once established -- the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
 
The third factor underpinning this outlook change is that domestic vulnerabilities are being amplified by the stress that is emanating from the euro area. The Dutch growth outlook is relatively weak, both in relation to Aaa-rated peers and to its own track record. In fact, according to the Dutch central bank, the country's growth performance between 2008-14 will be its lowest for any seven-year period since the Second World War. Some of the reasons for this are unrelated to developments in the euro area such as declining real disposable incomes (which are expected to fall by nearly 4% in total in 2012-13), the Netherlands' high degree of household leverage (over 200% of disposable income, though household assets are also substantial) and falling house prices. However, negative developments at the euro area level are amplifying these negative trends, which are in turn contributing to weak confidence and an overall contraction in domestic demand. This dynamic creates additional fiscal headwinds and means that the Dutch government's debt burden will begin to fall later and from a higher level.
 
--RATIONALE FOR NETHERLANDS' UNCHANGED Aaa RATING
 
The Netherlands' Aaa sovereign rating is underpinned by very high levels of economic, institutional and government financial strength.
 
The Netherlands is a large, wealthy and open economy that is highly developed and diversified. Although the growth outlook over the forecast period is quite weak relative to the country's historical experience, the Dutch economy remains highly competitive, a fact that is reflected in the sizeable current account surplus. Moreover, unlike some of its fellow euro area countries, the Netherlands has already pursued substantial labour market reform, which has translated into a highly productive labour force whose participation rate is above the EU average.
 
In view of the country's strong tradition of building consensus on key economic policy changes, Dutch institutions have built a robust and highly transparent institutional framework to facilitate this process.
The country also has a strong tradition of relying on independent institutions at key points in the fiscal policymaking process.
 
The Netherlands also enjoys a broad, long-standing consensus on fiscal discipline. In 1994, the Dutch introduced trend-based budgeting with expenditure ceilings (expressed in real terms) for a government's entire term. Under Dutch fiscal rules, revenue windfalls cannot be used to finance expenditures and, in general, departments need to compensate for any overspending themselves. Within a few days of the collapse in April
2012 of the governing minority coalition over budget negotiations, the outgoing coalition was able to reach agreement with three opposition parties on additional fiscal consolidation measures. The speed with which agreement could be reached illustrates that the consensus in favour of fiscal discipline remains in place.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATING DOWN
 
The Netherlands' Aaa rating could potentially be downgraded if Moody's were to conclude that debt metrics are unlikely to stabilise within the next 3-4 years, with the deficit, the overall debt burden, and/or debt-financing costs on a rising trend. This could happen in one of three scenarios, all of which imply lower economic and/or government financial
strength: (1) a combination of significantly slower growth over a multi-year time horizon and reduced political commitment to fiscal consolidation, including discretionary fiscal loosening or a failure to respond to a deteriorating fiscal outlook; (2) the exit of any country from the European monetary union, as such an event is expected to set off a chain of financial-sector shocks and associated liquidity pressures for banks and sovereigns that would entail very high cost for countries such as the Netherlands, and cause contingent liabilities from the euro area to increase; or (3) a sharp rise in debt-refinancing costs following a loss of safe-haven status.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE OUTLOOK BACK TO STABLE
 
Conversely, the rating outlook could return to stable if a combination of less adverse macroeconomic conditions, a more benign outlook for the euro area and deficit reduction measures were to ease medium-term uncertainties with regard to the country's debt trajectory.
 
***
 
MOODY'S CHANGES THE OUTLOOK ON LUXEMBOURG'S Aaa RATING TO NEGATIVE
 
Moody's Investors Service has today changed the outlook on Luxembourg's Aaa rating to negative from stable. The Aaa rating itself remains unchanged.
 
The key drivers of today's action on Luxembourg are:
 
1.) The rising uncertainty regarding the outcome of the euro area debt crisis given the current policy framework, and the increased susceptibility to event risk stemming from the increased likelihood of Greece's exit from the euro area, including the broader impact that such an event would have on euro area members, including Luxembourg.
 
2.) The rising contingent liabilities that the Luxembourg government will assume as a result of European policymakers' reactive and gradualist policy response, although the country's level of gross indebtedness is markedly lower than that of the other Aaa-rated euro area sovereigns.
 
3.) Concerns about the country's economic resilience in view of its significant reliance on financial services industry for employment, national income, and tax revenue.
 
--RATIONALE FOR NEGATIVE OUTLOOK
 
As indicated in the introduction of this press release, the first driver underlying Moody's decision to change the outlook on Luxembourg's Aaa bond rating to negative is the level of uncertainty about the outlook for the euro area and the impact that this has on the country's susceptibility to event risk. Specifically, the material risk of a Greek exit and the broader impact that such an event would have on euro area members exposes core countries such as Luxembourg to a risk of shock that is not commensurate with a stable outlook on their Aaa ratings. In Luxembourg's case, Moody's particular concern is over the impact that this development could have on the financial services industry, which directly accounts for 25-30% of Luxembourg's GDP. In addition, Luxembourg is exposed to a potential rise in contingent liabilities if additional euro area support is needed for banks and sovereigns in financial distress. In the case of Luxembourg, this concern is mitigated by its relatively low level of sovereign indebtedness.
 
In light of Luxembourg's interdependence with the euro area's real economy and the global financial sector, Moody's has broader concerns about the country's economic resilience. Luxembourg's direct dependence on its financial services industry is substantial, both due to its contribution to government taxes and social security contributions (23% of the total) and to the country's employment (12% of employees). Of course, problems in the sector would inevitably generate second-order impacts on the national economy. While Moody's notes that Luxembourg's economy has a track record of being relatively resilient to shocks or crises, the above factors have prompted Moody's to examine whether this resiliency has gradually weakened.
 
--RATIONALE FOR LUXEMBOURG'S UNCHANGED Aaa RATING
 
Luxembourg's Aaa rating is underpinned by the country's position as one of the wealthiest countries in the world on both a GDP per capita and purchasing parity power basis. The rating also reflects the country's solid track record of economic growth, mainly driven by the financial services industry. In the past, the national authorities have been able to leverage their first-mover advantage in implementing EU directives by improving the business environment, being able to attract a highly skilled labour force and preserving some advantages related to bank secrecy legislation. Although the total assets of the banking sector and financial services' overall impact on the Luxembourg economy are very large, Moody's acknowledges that contingent liabilities emanating from it remain low. The domestic retail banking sector is dominated by three banks (Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat, BGL BNP Paribas, BIL) and has assets that equate to just over 200% of GDP. These banks have, in aggregate, maintained strong, double-digit core Tier 1 ratios, thus capping the potential liabilities that could crystallise on the government's balance sheet. The off-shore part of the financial system is much larger and is composed of the investment fund industry (with assets under management that equate to 50x GDP) and the offshore banking operations (with assets that are 20x GDP). Moody's assesses the contagion risk between and within these different segments of Luxembourg's financial industry to be low due to minimal balance sheet linkages between the different segments of the financial sector (excluding intra-group exposures in the off-shore banking system which account for around 40% of the aggregated balance sheet of the system).
 
The Aaa rating is supported by the very high fiscal flexibility, characterised by the low fiscal inertness of the government and its ability to adjust tax rates (especially VAT considering the structure of economy), capital expenditures (4% GDP) and social security parameters.
Luxembourg still exhibits sound fiscal metrics, relative to other Aaa-rated countries, in spite of the fact that the government had to use its balance sheet to support both the economy and the banking sector during the financial crisis, which caused debt levels to increase to a still-modest 18.2% of GDP in 2011 from 7% in 2007. In addition, the government has significant financial buffers in the form of national pension fund assets that are equivalent to 27% of GDP.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATING DOWN
 
Luxembourg's Aaa rating could potentially be downgraded if Moody's were to observe a large increase in the government's debt burden. Luxembourg's debt level is still low relative to rating peers, but the country's small size probably means that it is limited in its ability to take on large quantities of additional debt. More broadly, if events in the euro area develop in a way that undermines the resilience of the Luxembourg financial sector or economy, that could also result in a downgrade of the sovereign.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE OUTLOOK BACK TO STABLE
 
Conversely, the rating outlook could return to stable if a benign outlook for the euro area, reduced stress in non-core countries and less adverse macroeconomic conditions in Europe in general were to ease medium-term uncertainties with regard to the country's debt trajectory and economic resilience.
 
***
 
MOODY'S AFFIRMS FINLAND'S Aaa RATING AND STABLE OUTLOOK
 
Moody's has today affirmed the Aaa rating and stable rating outlook on Finland's government bond rating.
 
--RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMATION
 
The key drivers of the rating affirmation are: (1) the Finnish government's net creditor position, with accumulated government pension assets exceeding the government's gross financial liabilities; (2) its fiscally conservative budgetary policies that never deviated from strict compliance with the Maastricht Treaty criteria; (3) the country's relatively healthy and domestically oriented banking system; (4) its diversified export markets, with a comparatively small share of exports (close to 33%) sold to the euro area, indicating a limited exposure to and therefore relative insulation from the euro area in terms of trade; and (5) the government's efforts to reduce its exposure to potential losses on its loans to other euro area countries through collateral agreements.
 
Moody's nonetheless believes that Finland's economy and public finances will continue to be challenged as long as the euro area crisis persists, in particular due to the structural problems facing its key economic sectors.
 
--WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS DOWN
 
Finland's Aaa stable rating could potentially be downgraded if the country were to experience a serious deterioration in public finances over a lengthy period of time that would worsen debt affordability significantly and endanger economic stability. Although Finland is in a better position than its euro area peers to shield itself from any adverse developments in the euro area debt crisis, should its economy and banking system prove less resilient than expected, this could also put downward pressure on the rating.
 
The principal methodology used in these ratings was Sovereign Bond Ratings published in September 2008. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Guest Post: Ireland: Bail-Out With A Boomerang


Submitted by Alex Gloy, CIO of Lighthouse Investment Management

Ireland: Bail-out with a Boomerang

European government bond spreads have widened dramatically with the second country going bankrupt: Ireland.

10 year Irish government bond yield. Source: Bloomberg.com

An example of low indebtedness as recently as 2007 (25% debt-to-GDP ratio compared to 65% for Germany)  – the country has descended into financial chaos within 3 years. And, contrary to Greece, Ireland has not overspent, nor falsified government statistics.

This year alone, saving its banks from collapse will cost Ireland 32% of GDP.

But the EU/IMF rescue package saddles the country with another EUR 85bn of debt – more than 50% of GDP (remember, Maastricht criterion was 60%). The ratio would look even worse if you used the gross national product (GNP) instead (EUR 139bn vs. GDP 170bn for 2009[2]). A lot of global firms have shell companies in Ireland, where – due to the low corporate tax rate of 12.5% – profits are being booked. Royalties are charged towards holding companies in higher-tax countries to  avoid paying higher taxes. These tax shells are run by few employees and do not add much to the industrial output or tax base of the country. Hence GNP would be a better measure of economic strength.

It seems Ireland tried to resist a bail-out, but was forced to accept (Irish banks are hanging on by a thread of EU 130bn of loans from the ECB).

But wait a minute – non-Irish banks make up EUR 35bn of this amount[3].  And didn’t some foreign banks (among them German Depfa, which was bought by Hypo Real Estate which in turn had to be rescued by the German government and has so far cost more than EUR 100bn) move their headquarters to Dublin to escape stricter regulation at home? And now the EU/IMF forces the Irish tax payer to bear the cost of bailing out those banks?

The government is doing its citizens a disservice by accepting a bail-out. The “National Recovery Plan 2011-2014″ intends to save EUR 15bn (“front-loaded” 6-5-4bn for the years 2011-13) by cutting expenses (10bn) and raising taxes (5bn) in order to reduce the budget deficit to less than 3% by 2014.

The budget plan sees GDP increasing by 1.75%, 3.25%, 3% and 2.75% in the years 2011-14.

Can anybody explain to me how an economy, which was shrinking by 11% (GNP) last year, that will be saddled with austerity (demand-reducing) measures of another 10% of GNP is supposed to grow? Not only have government tax revenues declined by 33% since 2007[4] but also will increased interest burden (because of the bail-out loans) eat up 20% of revenues by 2014 (up from 8% in 2009)[5].

The sanity of the authors of this “recovery plan” has to be questioned.

Everything happens for a reason. Probably the Irish tried first avoiding a bail-out. Then, as it became unavoidable, putting “fantasy” numbers in the budget just to get over with it and to be able to sell it to the people as a “recovery” story. The plan could have been to take some EU/IMF money (paid out in tranches) and then default (or hope for a miracle).  Or, more elegantly, let the banks go bust (like Iceland) and avoid bearing the costs for bailing them out.

The guys from the IMF/EU are no amateurs. Seeing through this possibility they mischievously demanded the Irish contribute EUR 17.5bn of money from the National Pension Reserve Fund and from the country’s own cash reserves. Perversely, Ireland is rescuing itself with its own money. Hence, should the government dare to default, those pensioners will feel the cold as their money goes up in smoke.

I have rarely come across anything so blatantly opposed to the interests of the people. Comments by readers of Irish newspapers reflect the outrage, but a protest after the bail-out announcement counted only 50,000 participants.

One last chance to escape from this draconian bail-out is the government vote on December 7. The government could fall apart, individual members could defect – anything is possible. If the plan passes -  good luck and all my sympathies to you, Irish people.

The bond market has already reached its verdict: Ireland will eventually default. The 10-year government bond yield (9.35%) is now higher than before the bail-out announcement (roughly in the 8-9% range).

Why would the EU and IMF subordinate a country to such an endeavor guaranteed to fail?

Some point towards the 12.5% corporate tax rate being a thorn in other governments’ sides. Some point towards EUR 139bn owed to German banks, among them apparently some Landesbanken (WestLB is said to stagger after Bayerische Landesbank recently walked away from a merger).

The message seems to be that one country’s people has to pay because another county’s people doesn’t want to pay for its banks’ mistakes.

When, according to credit default swap prices[6], Greece and Ireland have, despite bail-outs, the second and third highest default probability (55% and 40%) on earth, something has to – and will – give. We are talking about bankruptcies of entire countries. And, as outlined in earlier letters, the cohesion of the Euro zone. Which leads us to the next topic: how complacent must equity investors be not to see the imminent risks in Europe? Are they waiting for the German Constitutional Court to possibly veto any bail-out (as demanded by the “no bail-out clause”) in February 2011?

The only solution for a last-minute attempt to save the Euro would be to abolish individual sovereign debt issuance and to replace by a supra-national issuer. Of course, Germany’s credit rating would suffer, and its government bonds would tumble significantly. And even such a move would not solve one of the main problems: divergence in unit labor costs within the Euro zone over the last decade.

Half-hearted solutions could be a split into a “North-Euro” and “South-Euro” as proposed by Hans-Olaf Henkel[7]. But even that would lead to a run on banks within the weaker currency zone.


[2] Quarterly National Accounts, CSO Irish Central Statistics Office, March 25, 2010, page 1

[3] “Sharp rise in Irish banks’ ECB borrowings” in: RTE News, October 29, 2010

[4] “The National Recovery Plan 2011-2014″ by the Irish Government, page 10

[5] “The National Recovery Plan 2011-2014″ by the Irish Government, page 8

[6] “Highest default probabilities” by: CMA, November 30, 2010

[7] “Wirtschaftsexperte Henkel fordert “Euro-Nord” und “Euro-Sued”, dpa-AFX November 26, 2010

In Stunning Decision, EU Orders Germany To Start Onboarding „Bad Debt“ To Sovereign Balance Sheet: RBS, Fannie, Freddie Next?


In what could be the most important news of the day, German Die Zeit reports that, in a stunning move, the EU has ordered Germany to count the holdings of WestLB and Hypo Real Estate (the latter of which failed the stress farce from last month which nobody cares about or remembers anymore) as government debt!  As Bloomberg notes, "That could raise Germany’s debt to 90 percent of gross domestic product, Die Zeit said." Of course the implications of this decision are massive, as it takes out all the guess work of whether insolvent institutions are or are not on the government's balance sheet. The net result, for Germany alone, is that just the addition of Hypo's debt would push German debt/GDP from 79% to 90%, both of which are well above the Maastricht limit of 60% (not like anyone cares that is - everyone is now aware the EU is a failed experiment). The next question: what happens to nationalized RBS and it $168 billion in debt? Total UK debt is $1.2 trillion meaning a comparable action in the UK would rise UK debt by 15%! And then there is a whole slew of other banks in the pipeline in Europe that are full of trillions in toxic debt: will the sovereign hosts be able to onboard this debt? Most importantly, what happens to our administration's adamant claims that Fannie and Freddie's $6+ trillion in debt should not be counted as part of total Federal debt. America already has its hand full with $13.3 trillion in debt. What will happen when it moves to $20 trillion (140% of GDP) overnight. We are confident that unless this decision by the EU's statistics office is overturned, it will likely set off the next leg in the sovereign debt crisis as suddenly European Debt to GDP ratios will increase by about 15-20%.

More from the WSJ:

The bailout of Germany's banking sector may swell the country's public debt rate to 90% of gross domestic product, Die Zeit weekly newspaper reports Wednesday.

The weekly based this estimate on a recent decision by Eurostat requiring Germany to include the balance sheets of public-owned bad banks--set up to help financial institutions offload toxic and non-strategic assets--into its overall debt ratio.

State-owned WestLB AG bank has already offloaded EUR77 billion into such a rescue bank. Going by the Eurostat decision, EUR54 billion of WestLB's toxic assets transferred to the bad bank must be included in Germany's overall debt level.

Finance ministry spokeswoman, Jeanette Schwamberger, said the "winding-down entity of WestLB has already been included in the government's recently published calculations of the debt level."


In July, it forecast Germany's debt level will rise from 73.1% in 2009 to 79% of GDP in 2010, 80% in 2011, to 80.5% respectively in 2012 and 2013 before easing to 80% in 2014.

Die Zeit said that if nationalized mortgage lender Hypo Real Estate is added to the equation, Germany's debt level could widen to 90%.

However, the impact from Hypo Real Estate is yet unclear because a rescue bank hasn't been set up and it's unknown how big the volume will be, according to Schwamberger.

Hypo Real Estate has said it plans to offload EUR210 billion into such a bad bank, but has already added that it might need less fresh capital than previously said. A consolidation of assets might reduce the widening of Germany's debt.

A debt ratio of 90% of GDP would be much higher than the 60% threshold set under the European Union's Maastricht Treaty.

h/t Tim

Hypo Real Estate Said To Fail Banking Stress Test


The bank that has been bailed out a hundred times before is, shockingly, rumored by Bloomberg to not pass the stress test. In other news, all Greek banks are doing swell for now.

More from Bloomberg:

Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, the German lender taken over by the government following the financial crisis, failed a Europe-wide banking stress test, two people familiar with the results said.

Hypo Real Estate didn’t pass a stress scenario on its capital that assumes an economic slowdown and sovereign-debt losses, said the people, who declined to be identified before an announcement on July 23. An official at Munich-based Hypo Real Estate declined to comment.

European Union regulators are examining the strength of banks as they seek to reassure investors about the firms’ resilience to potential losses amid the region’s sovereign-debt crisis. The tests are being applied to 91 of Europe’s biggest banks, including 14 German lenders.

On The Trail Of Europe’s „Mysterious“ $2.6 Trillion In Toxic Debt

The NYT has a pretty good article about the "mystery" of Europe mega toxic loans, which amount to $2.6 trillion just to Greece, Spain and Portugal, in that all attempts to find out just who is on the hook for all this debt have apparently yielded no results. We disagree: this is a topic that has been beaten to death before on ZH, and it is all too well known that France and Germany will go bust overnight if PIIGS debt is allowed to be marked even halfway to market pro forma for governmental bailouts, on the banks' balance sheets. Throw in Austria and Italy if the Hungarian crisis (amusingly, the Hungarian government is now scrambling to undo the harm it caused with its fast and loose words of caution last week, but too late - it has now lost all credibility) spreads to Eastern Europe, and the mystery is solved. But at least the NYT has some pretty charts.

As for the NYT's message, here is the gist:

The problem is, alas, that no one — not investors, not regulators, not even bankers themselves — knows exactly which banks are sitting on the biggest stockpiles of rotting loans within that pile. And doubt, as it always does during economic crises, has made Europe’s already vulnerable financial system occasionally appear to seize up. Early last month, in an indication of just how dangerous the situation had become, European banks — which appear to hold more than half of that $2.6 trillion in debt — nearly stopped lending money to one another.

“The marketplace knows very little about where the real risks are parked,” says Nicolas Véron, an economist at Bruegel, a research organization in Brussels. “That is exactly the problem. As long as there is no semblance of clarity, trust will not return to the banking system.”

Limited disclosure and possibly spotty accounting have been long-voiced concerns of analysts who follow European banks. Though most large publicly listed banks have offered information about their exposure — Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt says it holds 500 million euros in Greek government bonds and no Spanish or Portuguese sovereign debt — there has been little disclosure from the hundreds of smaller mortgage lenders, state-owned banks and thrift institutions that dominate banking in countries like Germany and Spain.

Depfa, a German bank that is now based in Dublin, is one of the few second-tier European banking institutions that have offered detailed disclosures about their financial wherewithal, and its stark troubles may be emblematic of those still hidden on other banks’ books.

Despite boasting as recently as two years ago of its “very conservative lending practices,” Depfa, which caters primarily to governments, has flirted with disaster. It narrowly avoided collapsing in late 2008 until the German government bailed it out, and today its books are still laden with risk.

DEPFA and its parent, Hypo Real Estate Holding, a property lender outside Munich, have 80.4 billion euros in public-sector debt from Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy. The amount was first disclosed in March but did not draw much attention outside Germany until last month, when investors decided to finally try to tally how much cross-border lending had gone on in Europe.

There is much more, but it is largely irrelevant. The IMF on Thursday said it can not possibly bail out all of Europe, absent another infusion of $300+ billion, and as the EU itself is insolvent, the debate of a European "game over" is not one of if but when. Unfortunately, the US is in far worse shape than all of Europe combined, but is much better equipped at dealing with a population so illiterate in financial matters that it can keep pulling the wool over the eyes of the sheeple years after the EMU is finished. Furthermore, the longer investors stay glued to their television watching the storming of the Athens parliament first, and soon many more, the longer the US debt catastrophe can stay out of sight and out of mind. Alas, once the European crisis is "dealth with" one way or another, the bored bond vigilantes will inevitably turn their eyes to the US, as Roubini recently predicted. It is all now just a matter of time, and how fast the kleptocracy can load up their vaults in various non-extradition countries with non-dilutable assets before it is all let loose.

Deutschland: Hypo Real Estate braucht höhere Bürgschaften…

Na das passt ja:-( Gefunden bei welt.de:

HRE braucht noch höhere Bürgschaften

Von Sebastian Jost 29. Mai 2010, 04:00 Uhr

Rettungsfonds SoFFin weitet Garantien um zehn Milliarden Euro aus

Frankfurt/Main – Die Dauerkrise des Immobilienfinanzierers Hypo Real Estate hält an: Die Bank braucht weitere Bürgschaften vom Staat. Der Rettungsfonds SoFFin hat den Garantierahmen für die HRE um zehn Mrd. Euro ausgeweitet. Damit kann das Institut nun insgesamt staatlich garantierte Anleihen in einem Volumen von 103,5 Mrd. Euro ausgeben, um ihre Verbindlichkeiten zu decken.

Nötig wird die Erhöhung, weil die HRE mehr flüssige Mittel benötigt. Die zehn Mrd. Euro standen nach Angaben des SoFFin bereits bis Ende 2009 als Puffer zur Verfügung, wurden aber aufgrund der Entspannung an den Märkten nicht verlängert. Nun ist von dieser Entspannung nicht mehr viel zu spüren – und die HRE braucht das Geld wieder. Man wolle die “laufende Restrukturierung der HRE unter keinen Umständen gefährden”, erklärte SoFFin-Chef Hannes Rehm. Ein Scheitern der Neuaufstellung des Immobilienfinanzierers hätte massive Konsequenzen für die deutsche Wirtschaft, warnte Rehm in einer Mitteilung: “Halbe Sachen werden wir uns nicht leisten und den Bürgern nicht zumuten.”

Zu den Gründen für den höheren Garantiebedarf wollte sich der SoFFin nicht äußern. Ein Sprecher der Bank sagte, der zusätzliche Bedarf “resultiert aus dem allgemeinen, volatilen Marktumfeld”. So muss die Bank etwa angesichts des gestiegenen Dollar-Kurses höhere Euro-Beträge aufnehmen, um ihre bestehenden Dollar-Verpflichtungen zu erfüllen. Außerdem macht der stark in der Staatsfinanzierung engagierten Bank zu schaffen, dass die Anleihen vieler öffentlicher Schuldner nur noch mit Abschlägen gehandelt werden. Die HRE hinterlegt Staatsanleihen als Sicherheiten für Kredite der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) – angesichts der gesunkenen Kurse kann sie sich auf diesem Weg aber weniger Geld beschaffen als zuvor.

Die Lücke muss nun der SoFFin füllen, denn ohne Bürgschaften bekommt die HRE bereits seit ihrer Beinahe-Pleite im Herbst 2008 kaum noch Geld geliehen. So entfällt denn auch der Löwenanteil der bisher vom SoFFin ausgegeben Garantien von knapp 150 Mrd. Euro auf die HRE. Außerdem ist das Institut eine von vier Banken, die auch Kapitalspritzen aus dem Rettungsfonds des Bundes erhalten haben. Knapp acht Mrd. Euro sind es bisher. Wie weit der Kapitalbedarf noch steigen wird, hängt von der Gestalt der staatlichen Bad Bank ab, in die die HRE Bilanzwerte von bis zu 210 Mrd. Euro verschieben will.

Dass die 2009 verstaatlichte HRE die Kapitalshilfen jemals komplett zurückzahlen kann, gilt als unwahrscheinlich. Schon jetzt überschreiten die staatlichen Stützen den Börsenwert der Bank zu besten Boomzeiten deutlich. Hohe Kreditausfälle im Immobiliengeschäft belasten die Bank Quartal für Quartal weiter. Künftig will sie sich unter der Marke Deutsche Pfandbriefbank auf wenige Kernbereiche des früheren Geschäfts konzentrieren.

Mitarbeiter mosern jedoch, dass das Geschäft unter den strengen Auflagen des Bundes gar nicht wieder auf die Beine kommen könne. Der in der Krise von der Deutschen Bank geholte Vorstandschef Axel Wieandt schmiss im März entnervt die Brocken hin. Seither führt die bisherige Risikochefin Manuela Better das Unternehmen.


Deutschland: SoFFin schließt 2009 mit Milliarden-Verlust ab!

Nach “lohnendem Geschäft für den Steuerzahler” sieht das bis jetzt noch nicht aus… Gefunden bei faz.net (Herrvorhebungen von mir hinzugefügt):

Sonderfonds Finanzmarktstabilisierung

Bankretter Soffin mit Verlust von 4,3 Milliarden

Der deutsche Bankenrettungsfonds Soffin hat für das Jahr 2009 einen Verlust von fast 4,3 Milliarden Euro berichtet. Der Fonds stützt unter anderem die Hypo Real Estate und die Commerzbank mit Milliardenbeträgen.

22. Mai 2010

Der Bankenrettungsfonds Soffin hat wegen Abschreibungen auf die Immobilienbank Hypo Real Estate das Jahr 2009 mit einem Verlust von 4,26 Milliarden Euro abgeschlossen. Das teilte der dem Bundesfinanzministerium unterstellte Sonderfonds Finanzmarktstabilisierung (Soffin) in Frankfurt mit.

Der Soffin war im Oktober 2008 nach der Insolvenz von Lehman Brothers von der Bundesregierung mit 480 Milliarden Euro ausgestattet worden. 80 Milliarden Euro davon können systemrelevanten Banken in Not als Eigenkapital zur Verfügung gestellt werden, die übrigen 400 Milliarden können als Garantien für Bankanleihen verwendet werden. Seither hat der Soffin 6,3 Milliarden Euro Eigenkapital in die Hypo Real Estate (HRE), 18,2 Milliarden Euro in die Commerzbank, 3 Milliarden Euro in die West LB und 0,525 Milliarden in die Aareal Bank eingebracht. Im Jahr 2009, dem ersten vollen Geschäftsjahr, schrieb der Soffin auf die für 5,3 Milliarden Euro vollständig erworbenen Aktien der HRE 4,1 Milliarden Euro ab, auf weitere 1 Milliarde Euro an stillen Einlagen des Soffin in der HRE gab es eine Wertberichtigung um 0,65 Milliarden Euro. Abschreibungen auf die übrigen Bankbeteiligungen gab es nicht.

“Wir tun alles in unserer Macht Stehende, um Steuergelder zu schonen”, sagte Hannes Rehm, Sprecher des Leitungsausschusses des Soffin. Handlungsmaxime aber sei, durch die Rettung von Banken Schaden vom Wirtschaftssystem fernzuhalten. “Retten ist leider kein lukratives Geschäft”, sagte Rehm. Der Soffin nahm im Jahr 2009 rund 690 Millionen Euro Provisionen für Garantien und 214 Millionen Euro an Zinsen unter anderem von der Aareal Bank für die stille Einlage ein. Diese operativen Erträge aber wurden aufgefressen von 407 Millionen Euro an Zinsaufwendungen und den Abschreibungen von insgesamt 4,75 Milliarden Euro auf die Beteiligung an der Hypo Real Estate.


Deuschland: Hypo Real Estate mit „tiefroten“ Zahlen…

… und mit Milliardenbeträgen in den PIIGS-Staaten (siehe auch „Deutschland: Hypo Real Estate besonders stark in Griechenland engagiert„) => more to come? Gefunden bei n-tv.de:

Wirtschaft

Freitag, 07. Mai 2010

Milliarden in PIIGSHRE weiter in Rot

Der verstaatlichte Immobilienfinanzierer schreibt weiter tiefrote Zahlen. Dennoch ist man zufrieden, denn das erste Quartal ist das Beste seit Herbst 2008. Aber immer noch stecken Risiken in Milliardenhöhe in den schuldengeplagten Mittelmeerstaaten. Der größte Batzen entfällt dabei auf Italien.

Der marode Immobilienfinanzierer Hypo Real Estate (HRE) hat den Jahresauftakt nach eigenen Angaben mit dem besten Ergebnis seit seinem Beinahe-Kollaps im Herbst 2008 abgeschlossen. Der zwangverstaatlichte Finanzkonzern fuhr im ersten Quartal zwischen Januar und März dennoch einen Verlust von 324 Mio. Euro vor Steuern ein, wie die HRE am Freitag in München mitteilte. Im Vorjahreszeitraum hatte das Minus mit 406 Mio. Euro deutlich höher gelegen. Im Gesamtjahr 2009 hatte die HRE 2,2 Mrd. Euro Verlust vor Steuern gemacht.

Die HRE gehe nach wie vor davon aus, erst 2012 wieder schwarze Zahlen zu schreiben, erklärte die neue Konzernchefin Manuela Better. Bei der Schaffung seiner eigenen Bad Bank zur Abwicklung strategisch nicht mehr wichtiger Geschäftsfelder komme der Immobilienfinanzierer gut voran.

Die HRE war im Herbst 2008 im Zuge der internationalen Finanzkrise in schwere Schieflage geraten und musste mit Mrd.hilfen des Staates und teils auch der Bankenbranche vor dem Zusammenbruch gerettet werden. Im vergangenen Jahr wurde der Immobilienfinanzierer zwangsverstaatlicht und wird nun saniert.

Riskante Investments in PIIGS-Staaten

Wie die Bank mitteilt wurden insgesamt 39 Mrd. Euro in Länder der Europäischen Union investiert, die sich in einer wirtschaftlich heiklen Lage befinden. Den Löwenanteil macht Italien mit 26,8 Mrd. Euro aus, gefolgt von Griechenland (7,8 Mrd.Euro), Spanien (2,7) Mrd. Euro, Portugal (1,6 Mrd. Euro) und Irland (0,26 Mrd.Euro)

Damit ist die HRE unter den deutschen Finanzinstituten, soweit bekannt, am stärksten in diesen Ländern engagiert. Aber auch andere Häuser haben Milliarden investiert. So ist die Commerzbank im Rahmen ihres Staatsfinanzierungsgeschäfts mit 26,5 Mrd. Euro engagiert. Der Großteil geht dabei auf die Tochter Eurohypo zurück.

Und die Konkurrenz?

Die Postbank, an der die Deutsche Bank knapp 30 Prozent hält, hat 7,6 Mrd. Euro im Feuer. Zumindest bei den Investitionen in Griechenland bestehe derzeit kein Abschreibungsbedarf, hatte Vorstandsvorsitzender Stefan Jütte bei der Hauptversammlung gesagt. Auch die Commerzbank rechnet im zweiten Quartal nicht mit Belastungen aus dem Griechenland-Engagement.

Griechenland steht am Rand der Zahlungsunfähigkeit und kann sich an den internationalen Kapitalmärkten faktisch nicht mehr refinanzieren. Die Verschuldung des Landes liegt derzeit bei 115,1 Prozent des nominalen Bruttoinlandsproduktes. Aber auch die anderen Länder sind derzeit in einer schwachen Position: So hat Standard & Poor’s jüngst die Kreditwürdigkeit von Portugal und Spanien abgestuft. Länder wie Irland und Italien stehen zwar besser da; aber hier hat der Markt die Sorge, sie könnten im Dunstkreis von Griechenland in Mitleidenschaft gezogen werden.

AFP/DJ


Deutschland: Hypo Real Estate braucht weitere Hilfen…

Knapp 2 Mrd. EUR sind es diesmal – und 10 Mrd. EUR können es noch werden…

Gefunden bei n-tv.de:

Freitag, 30. April 2010

Kapitalbedarf ungebrochenHRE frisst weiteres Geld

Der Hunger nach frischem Kapital ist bei der Hypo Real Estate (HRE) noch nicht gestillt. Nun bekommt das schwer angeschlagene Geldinstitut weitere fast zwei Milliarden Euro vom Soffin. Die HRE rechnet auch weiterhin mit einem Kapitalbedarf von insgesamt zehn Milliarden Euro.

Die krisengeschüttelte Immobilienbank Hypo Real Estate (HRE) erhält vom Sonderfonds Finanzmarktstabilisierung (Soffin) weitere 1,85 Milliarden Euro. Wie die mittlerweile verstaatlichte Bank in München mitteilte, soll das frische Kapital in mindestens zwei Tranchen in die Kapitalrücklage der HRE eingezahlt werden.

Damit wären bislang 7,85 Milliarden Euro des von der HRE angemeldeten Kapitalbedarfs in Höhe von insgesamt zehn Milliarden Euro geflossen. Die HRE rechne auch weiterhin mit einem Kapitalbedarf von insgesamt zehn Milliarden Euro für den Konzernverbund, teilte die Bank mit. Die Maßnahme bedarf noch der Zustimmung der EU-Kommission.

Der Soffin will über die abschließende Rekapitalisierung der Bank nach Abschluss des laufenden EU-Beihilfeverfahrens und der Einrichtung der beantragten Abwicklungsanstalt, einer sogenannten “Bad Bank” entscheiden. In diese “Anstalt in der Anstalt” (Aida) will die HRE risikobehaftete Vermögenswerte von bis zu 210 Milliarden Euro auslagern.

Die HRE war nach der knapp verhinderten Pleite und Hilfen von mehr als 100 Milliarden Euro im Herbst vergangenen Jahres vollständig verstaatlicht worden. Der Konzern steckt noch immer tief in den roten Zahlen und sieht frühestens für 2012 eine Rückkehr in die Gewinnzone. Unter dem Strich häufte die HRE bis zum Jahresende 2009 ein Minus von rund 2,2 Milliarden Euro an.

dpa


Deutschland: Hypo Real Estate besonders stark in Griechenland engagiert

Siehe auch “Griechenland schuldet allein Deutschen Banken 43 Mrd EUR!“. Gefunden bei fr-online.de:

Griechenland

HRE besonders stark engagiert

München. Von den deutschen Finanzkonzernen ist vor allem der verstaatlichte Immobilienfinanzierer Hypo Real Estate (HRE) in Griechenland engagiert. Das Volumen der Griechenland-Anleihen belief sich zum Jahresende 2009 auf 7,9 Milliarden Euro.

Das sagte ein Sprecher in München. Durchschnittlich hätten die Anleihen eine Laufzeit von 21 Jahren. Ob und in welchem Umfang wegen der angespannten Lage Griechenlands Abschreibungen nötig werden könnten, ist derzeit offen. “Über die weitere Entwicklung wollen wir nicht spekulieren”, hieß es.

Neben der HRE ist nach Informationen aus Branchenkreisen auch die BayernLB mit einem Volumen von rund 300 Millionen Euro in Griechenland-Anleihen engagiert. Die Ratingagentur Standard & Poor’s (S&P) hatte am Dienstag ihr Rating für griechische Staatsanleihen auf das Ramschniveau “BB+” gesenkt und damit die Finanzmärkte in Aufregung versetzt.

Die HRE war im vergangenen Jahr nach Kapitalhilfen und Garantien von mehr als 100 Milliarden Euro verstaatlicht worden. Um sich von Altlasten zu befreien, plant der Konzern die Gründung einer Bad Bank, in die möglicherweise auch die Griechenland-Anleihen ausgelagert werden könnten. Im vergangenen Jahr hatte die HRE das Volumen der Griechenland-Anleihen um 800 Millionen Euro zurückgefahren. (dpa)


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