TCREUR_Public/100505.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                           E U R O P E

            Wednesday, May 5, 2010, Vol. 11, No. 087



PIRAEUS BANK: Moody's Cuts Long-Term Deposit Rating to 'Ba3'

C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C

CESKE AEROLINIE: Gov't Approves Three-Year Restructuring Plan


* GERMANY: Chancellor to Push for Insolvency Law for States


* GREECE: Slovakia Seeks Saving Measures Before Disbursing Loan


* HUNGARY: Matolcsy to Focus on Growth to Exit Debt Trap


* ICELAND: Corporate Bankruptcies Up 12% in First Quarter 2010


ANGLO IRISH: NAMA Begins Transfer of First Tranche of Loan

* IRELAND: Four Companies Going Bust Per Day, Report Shows


* Fitch Gives Stable Outlook on City of Oradea; Keeps 'BB+' Rating

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BRITISH AIRWAYS: CEO Balks at Unite's Move to Vote Down Offer
HULL CITY: Has No Plans to Enter Into Insolvency Process
SHREWBURY SHOPPING: Bought Out of Receivership for GBP61-Mil.
WEYMOUTH FOOTBALL: CVA Approved; Debt Slashed by 91%



PIRAEUS BANK: Moody's Cuts Long-Term Deposit Rating to 'Ba3'
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the bank financial
strength rating of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria AD to E+ from D-, its
long-term deposit rating by three notches to Ba3 from Baa3, and
its short-term deposit ratings to NP from Prime-3.  The outlook on
all ratings is negative.

The rating action follows Moody's earlier BFSR downgrade of PBB's
Greek parent bank, Piraeus Bank SA, to E+ (negative outlook) from
D+.  The parent bank's E+ BFSR now translates into a Baseline
Credit Assessment of B1, which serves as a reference point with
which to impute bank rating uplift as a result of possible
parental support.

The rating agency notes that the downgrade of PBB's standalone
ratings to E+/B1, the same level as those of its parent bank,
reflects the high level of funding dependence on, and correlation
with, the parent bank.  Although PBB continues to generate
adequate profitability -- despite reduced growth in business
volumes during Q1 2010 -- and has sufficient capital buffer to
absorb future credit losses, its BFSR is affected by the reduced
ability of its parent bank to provide additional funding support,
as indicated by Piraeus Bank SA's BCA of B1.

Moody's believes that there is still a high probability and strong
willingness of parental support to PBB based on the strategic
importance of the Bulgarian operations to Piraeus Bank Group and
on PBB's small size compared to the group's balance sheet.
However, given the lowered level of the parent bank's own
standalone rating, PBB's ratings can no longer benefit from rating
uplift stemming from parental support considerations.

Nevertheless, PBB's long- and short-term local and foreign
currency deposit ratings of Ba3/NP, respectively, receive one
notch of uplift from the bank's BCA as a result of Moody's
assessment of systemic support.  As the ratings are no longer
constrained by the country ceilings, any future movement in PBB's
BFSR would therefore prompt a movement in the bank's local and
foreign currency deposit rating.

Moody's previous rating action on PBB was implemented on March 31,
2010, when the bank's local currency deposit rating was downgraded
to Baa3, following the downgrade of the parent bank's BFSR.

Headquartered in Sofia, Piraeus Bank Bulgaria reported
consolidated total assets of BGN3.559 billion (EUR1.820 billion)
at the end of March 2010.

C Z E C H   R E P U B L I C

CESKE AEROLINIE: Gov't Approves Three-Year Restructuring Plan
The Associated Press reports that Czech Finance Minister Eduard
Janota on Monday said the government has approved a three-year
plan to restructure the CSA, the country's troubled national

According to the report, Mr. Janota said the airline is expected
to reduce its fleet by one-third as part of the plan and lay off
some 10% of its workforce.

The report notes Mr. Janota said the changes should cut the
airline loss from CZK3.7 billion (US$192 million) in 2009 to
CZK600 million (US$31 million) this year, with the company
expected to become profitable in 2012.

Ceske Aerolinie (known as Czech Airlines or CSA) -- flies to about 100 cities in 40 countries in
Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, North America, and Asia.
It operates a fleet of about 50 Airbus and Boeing jets and is a
member of the SkyTeam alliance led by Air France-KLM, Aeroflot,
and, Delta Air Lines.  Founded as Czechoslovak State Airlines in
1923, the Czech Ministry of Finance owns 57% of the carrier; other
Czech agencies own the rest.  The government considered selling
CSA but ultimately rejected a bid in October 2009 by group of
Czech and Icelandic investors.


* GERMANY: Chancellor to Push for Insolvency Law for States
Andreas Rinke at Reuters reports that German Chancellor Angela
Merkel said on Monday she would press for an international law
that would enable insolvency proceedings to be filed for states.

Reuters relates Ms. Merkel told German television station ARD
"Banks would not come out of this unscathed."


* GREECE: Slovakia Seeks Saving Measures Before Disbursing Loan
Radoslav Tomek at Bloomberg News reports that Slovak Prime
Minister Robert Fico said Slovakia will wait until Greece adopts
savings measures to cut the budget deficit before disbursing its
share of the emergency loan aimed at saving the Balkan country
from default.

"We want to see Greece doing its homework first, we want to see
laws being approved by parliament," Bloomberg quoted Mr. Fico as
saying at a press conference in the Slovak capital Bratislava.
"Personally, I don't trust Greeks."

The share of Slovakia, which adopted the euro in 2009, would
amount to about EUR800 million spread over three years, Bloomberg
notes, citing the country's Finance Ministry.

Mr. Fico, as cited by Bloomberg, said Slovak lawmakers will need
to amend existing legislation to allow for the loan.  A special
session to do so will probably be held by a new assembly after the
June 12 general election, Bloomberg discloses.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on May 4,
2010, Bloomberg News said that euro-region ministers agreed to a
EUR110-billion (US$146 billion) rescue package for Greece to
prevent a default and stop the worst crisis in the currency's 11-
year history from spreading through the rest of the bloc.
Bloomberg disclosed the 16-nation bloc will pay EUR80 billion at a
rate of around 5% and the International Monetary Fund contributes
the rest.  Greece agreed to budget measures worth 13% of gross
domestic product, Bloomberg said.


* HUNGARY: Matolcsy to Focus on Growth to Exit Debt Trap
Zoltan Simon at Bloomberg News reports that Gyorgy Matolcsy,
Hungary's new top official for the economy, said his priority is
to jumpstart growth to end the recession and exit a "debt trap"
that made the country "one of the world's 10 most vulnerable."

Tax cuts starting this year are needed to start growth in the
European Union's most indebted eastern member, which needed a
bailout to avert a default in the 2008 credit crisis,
Mr. Matolcsy, as cited by Bloomberg, said in Budapest Monday after
Prime Minister-designate Viktor Orban named him to head a combined
finance and economy ministry.

"From a debt perspective, we are among the 10 most vulnerable
countries in the world," Bloomberg quoted Mr. Matolcsy as saying.
"Growth is the only solution to exit the debt trap."

Bloomberg recalls Hungary was the first EU nation in 32 years to
obtain a bailout when it borrowed EUR20 billion (US$26 billion)
from a group led by International Monetary Fund.

Hungary's government debt is forecast to reach 80% of GDP this
year, Bloomberg says, citing the European Commission, the
27-nation bloc's executive.  Investors cited the country's high
debt level and slow growth for selling local assets in October
2008, forcing the government to obtain the bailout, Bloomberg


* ICELAND: Corporate Bankruptcies Up 12% in First Quarter 2010
Iceland Review reports that the number of companies that went
bankrupt in Iceland increased by almost 12% to 292 in the first
quarter of 2010 compared to 261 in the first quarter of 2009.

In March 2010 alone, 106 companies entered into bankruptcy
proceedings, most of which were operating in retail, the report
says, citing


ANGLO IRISH: NAMA Begins Transfer of First Tranche of Loan
Irish Examiner reports that the National Asset Management Agency
has started to transfer the first tranche of EUR10 billion in
loans from Anglo Irish Bank at a discount of 55%.

According to the report, the transfer of the residual Anglo loans
in the first tranche (EUR6 billion) is expected to be completed
next weekend.

The report relates a NAM spokesperson said, "In order to reduce
operational risk, the loans are being acquired in two phases.
Over the past weekend, the agency acquired loans with a nominal
value of EUR4 billion."

"Taking the EUR4 billion into account, loans with an aggregate
nominal value of EUR10 billion have been acquired by NAMA from
five institutions -- AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank, Irish
Nationwide and EBS," the report quoted a NAMA spokesman as saying.
"When the residual of Anglo's first tranche is fully completed,
the total transfer will be EUR16 billion and the overall discount
is expected to be of the order of 49%."

Anglo Irish Bank Corp PLC --
operates in three core areas: business lending, treasury and
private banking.  The Bank's non-retail business is made up of
more than 11,000 commercial depositors spanning commercial
entities, charities, public sector bodies, pension funds, credit
unions and other non-bank financial institutions.  The Company's
retail deposits comprise demand, notice and fixed term deposit
accounts from personal savers with maturities of up to two years.
Non-retail deposits are sourced from commercial entities,
charities, public sector bodies, pension funds, credit unions and
other non-bank financial institutions.  In addition, at September
30, 2008, its non-retail deposits included deposits from Irish
Life Assurance plc.  The Private Bank offers tailored products and
solutions for high net worth clients and operates the Bank's
lending business in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

                           *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on April 7,
2010, Fitch Ratings affirmed Anglo Irish Bank Corporation's lower
Tier 2 subordinated debt downgraded to 'CCC' from 'BBB+'.  Fitch
affirmed the rating on the bank's Upper Tier 2 subordinated notes
at 'CC'.  It also affirmed the rating on the bank's Tier 1 notes
at 'C'

* IRELAND: Four Companies Going Bust Per Day, Report Shows
Conor Keane at The Irish Examiner reports that four companies a
day are going bust as the company failure rate continues to soar.

Citing statistics compiled by, the report
says insolvencies for the year to the end of April have increased
27% over the same period of 2009.  According to the report, there
have been 532 recorded company failures this year, up on the 419
that failed between January and April 2009.

The figures show 125 companies went bust in April, down 15% from
the March total of 147 insolvencies, the report notes.

"It is too early to say whether the decline in failures indicates
an improvement in the economy or whether it's just a seasonal dip
in figures.  The number of insolvencies per month is still a cause
of concern with four companies going bust per day," the report
quoted Ken Fennell, a partner with Kavanagh Fennell, as saying.
"The construction industry continues to be the worst affected.
The first tranche of loans have now been transferred to NAMA so it
will be particularly interesting to monitor the levels of
construction insolvencies in the coming months."

The report states receiverships fell from 21 in March to 9 in
April but are well up in the first quarter of 2010 compared with
2009.  Receivership appointments are up almost 133% from 31 last
year to 72 this year, the report discloses.  The number of
receivership appointments so far this year has already surpassed
the total for 2008, according to the report.


* Fitch Gives Stable Outlook on City of Oradea; Keeps 'BB+' Rating
Fitch Ratings has revised the City of Oradea's Outlook to Stable
from Negative.  Fitch has simultaneously affirmed its Long-term
foreign and local currency ratings at 'BB+' and 'BBB-'
respectively.  Oradea's Short-term foreign currency rating is
affirmed at 'B'.

The revision in Outlook reflects a similar rating action on
Romania's Outlooks.  The ratings reflect Oradea's economic
potential due to its strategic location near the Hungarian border
and its improved budgetary performance, balanced by increased
debt, higher debt-servicing needs and weakened debt coverage

A negative rating action could be triggered by the operating
margin falling below 10% and debt exceeding 100% of current
revenue.  Any downward rating action on Romania will automatically
be reflected in Oradea's ratings.  The ratings could benefit from
a positive change in the sovereign ratings as long as budgetary
performance and debt remain at their current levels.

The operating margin improved to 18% in 2009, after deteriorating
to 10.6% in 2008 from 21% in 2007.  This was mainly due to higher
tax revenue and a slower increase of current expenditure,
particularly personnel costs and transfers.  The operating margin
covered interest costs by 7.2x, up from 3x in 2008, and exceeded
the city's forecast of 6x.  Taking into account GDP expectations
of 1% for 2010 and another 3.5% for 2011, Fitch expects the city
to achieve its forecasted margin of around 15%.  The contraction
of Romania's economy in 2009 (by 7.1%) has neither affected the
city's tax revenue nor reduced transfers from the state.
Unemployment in Bihor County, in which Oradea is located, was 5.9%
in 2009, well below the national average (7.8%).  However, VAT and
personal income tax, which form the bulk of the city's tax burden,
may react with some delay in 2010.

Romania's highly centralized budgetary system ensures adequate
support and control from the central government.  The latter
provides additional subsidies to support local infrastructure
projects and supervises the city's finances, including authorizing

Debt further increased by about 60% in 2009 to RON217 million, and
direct debt servicing rose to 100.6% of operating balance (2008:
66.4%).  Direct debt/current revenue was 55% (2008: 36.5%) and
direct debt/current balance was 3.5 years.  The city plans to
contract a new EUR10.4 million loan in 2010 and has yet to make
full use of another EUR15 million loan; debt could therefore
increase to more than RON300 million in 2010, although Fitch views
this as unlikely.  Oradea benefits from an even debt maturity
profile, with debt servicing forecasted to remain below 20% of
current revenue during 2010-2012.

Oradea is located in north-west Romania.  It is the capital and,
with about 205,000 residents, the largest city of Bihor County.
The local economy is wealthy by national standards and GDP per
capita was slightly above the national average in 2006, which
accounts for about 25% of the EU-27 average in 2007.

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BRITISH AIRWAYS: CEO Balks at Unite's Move to Vote Down Offer
Pilita Clark at The Financial Times reports that Willie Walsh, the
chief executive of British Airways plc, said the Unite union's
refusal to recommend that its members back the airline's latest
offer to end the cabin crew dispute is "a little bit bizarre".

According to the FT, Mr. Walsh said he was pleased Unite had
agreed to a fresh ballot but failed to understand its opposition
to the offer, since he believed it addressed everything the union

The FT relates Tony Woodley, Unite's joint general secretary, said
Unite could not recommend the proposal because BA had laid down
"vindictive and discriminatory" conditions for restoring the
discounted travel rights withdrawn from striking crew after the
March stoppages.

Mr. Woodley, as cited by the FT, said BA had also failed to
address "draconian" disciplinary actions against more than 50
staff suspended on mostly "entirely trivial" charges arising from
the dispute.

The FT notes Mr. Woodley said unless the management resolved these
issues, after what most expect to be a vote against the new offer,
"an early resumption of industrial action is not only possible but

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on May 3,
2010, Bloomberg News said that BA's cabin crew began voting on
April 30 on the latest pay deal.  Bloomberg disclosed the
airline's latest proposal involves a two-year pay deal pegging
wages for 12,000 flight attendants to U.K. inflation from the
start of next year.  The plan would also restore 184 crew posts
removed in November, and introduce monthly travel payments in lieu
of scrapping other allowances, according to Bloomberg.

                      About British Airways

Headquartered in Harmondsworth, England, British Airways Plc,
along with its subsidiaries, (LON:BAY) -- is
engaged in the operation of international and domestic scheduled
air services for the carriage of passengers, freight and mail and
the provision of ancillary services.  The Company's principal
place of business is Heathrow.  It also operates a worldwide air
cargo business, in conjunction with its scheduled passenger
services.  The Company operates international scheduled airline
route networks together with its codeshare and franchise partners,
and flies to more than 300 destinations worldwide.  During the
fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 (fiscal 2009), the Company
carried more than 33 million passengers.  It carried 777,000 tons
of cargo to destinations in Europe, the Americas and throughout
the world.  In July 2008, the Company's subsidiary, BA European
Limited (trading as OpenSkies), acquired the French airline,

                           *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on March 19,
2010, Moody's Investors Service lowered to B1 from Ba3 the
Corporate Family and Probability of Default Ratings of British
Airways plc; and the senior unsecured and subordinate ratings to
B2 and B3, respectively.  Moody's said the outlook is stable.
This concludes the review that was initiated on November 10, 2009.

The rating action reflects Moody's view that credit metrics will
not be commensurate with the previous rating category in the
medium term.  Moody's expect furthermore that metrics will be
burdened in the foreseeable future by the company's significant
pension deficit, which was at GBP2.6 billion for the APS and NAPS
schemes combined as of September 2009 (under IAS).  Moody's
nevertheless understand that under the current agreement with the
trade unions, the cash contributions to these deficits will be
frozen at GBP330 million per year for three years, subject to
approval by the Pensions Regulator and the trustees.

HULL CITY: Has No Plans to Enter Into Insolvency Process
The Press Association reports that Hull City Association Football
Club has insisted that "there are no plans or intentions to enter
into any form of insolvency process".

The report says that while the club's relegation will have a major
impact on its revenues, it is confident that it will not be forced
into administration.

The club owes GBP35 million to creditors, the report notes.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Europe, citing Accountancy Age,
reported on April, 28, 2008, that following the last audit,
Deloitte warned the club it could struggle to continue as a going

Hull City Association Football Club is an English football club
based in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, founded in

SHREWBURY SHOPPING: Bought Out of Receivership for GBP61-Mil.
Alun Thorne at Birmingham Post reports that UK Commercial Property
Trust has acquired The Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping
Centres out of receivership for GBP61 million.  According to the
report, the deal was brokered by GVA Grimley following its
appointment by the receiver.

The report recalls GVA was appointed September 2009 when previous
owners Protego's UK Actively Managed Shopping Centre Fund lost
control of the properties.  The LPA Receiver appointment was made
by London-based Hatfield Phillips -- the special servicer to the
loan -- which was originally provided by Lehman Brothers, the
report recounts.

"We are delighted to have completed this major transaction within
six months of being appointed as the LPA Receiver," the report
quoted Greg Judd, director of GVA Grimley and head of the firm's
Midlands Corporate Recovery team and LPA Receiver for Shrewsbury
Shopping Centres, said.  "While the sale of Shrewsbury Shopping
Centre currently represents the largest deal out of receivership
in the Midlands during 2010, there will be more transactions to
follow, as the property market deals with the effects of a painful

WEYMOUTH FOOTBALL: CVA Approved; Debt Slashed by 91%
Derek Bish at Dorset Echo reports that Weymouth Football Club has
had its Company Voluntary Arrangement formally approved after the
28-day appeal period passed without concern.  According to the
report, the CVA's approval means Weymouth FC has slashed its near
GBP900,000 debt by 91%.  Creditors were given four weeks to notify
insolvency practitioners Carter Clark of their intention to block
the CVA, the report notes.

Weymouth F.C., nicknamed "The Terras", is an English football club
based in the town of Weymouth, who currently play in the
Conference South.


Monday's edition of the TCR delivers a list of indicative prices
for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.  Prices are
obtained by TCR editors from a variety of outside sources during
the prior week we think are reliable.  Those sources may not,
however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday Bond Pricing table
is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.  Prices reported
are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices for actual
trades are probably different.  Our objective is to share
information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy or
sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR editor holds some position in the issuers'
public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Each Tuesday edition of the TCR contains a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets whose shares trade higher than US$3 per
share in public markets.  At first glance, this list may look like
the definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell short.
Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at historical cost
net of depreciation may understate the true value of a firm's
assets.  A company may establish reserves on its balance sheet for
liabilities that may never materialize.  The prices at which
equity securities trade in public market are determined by more
than a balance sheet solvency test.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
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related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book of
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S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter -- Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine
T. Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2010.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

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