TCREUR_Public/130809.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

            Friday, August 9, 2013, Vol. 14, No. 157

                            Headlines



B E L G I U M

DEXIA SA: Posts Net Loss of EUR905-Mil. in First Half 2013


C R O A T I A

* CITY OF ZAGREB: S&P Alters Outlook to Neg. & Affirms 'BB+' ICR


G E R M A N Y

MINIMAX VIKING: Moody's Cuts Rating on 1st Lien Debts to '(P)B2'
PROVIDE GEMS 2002-1: Fitch Affirms 'C' Ratings on 2 Note Classes
SMP DEUTSCHLAND: Fitch Cuts LT Issuer Default Rating to 'B-'


G R E E C E

EXCEL MARITIME: US Court OKs Vessels Sale for US$43.2 Million
EXCEL MARITIME: Creditors Ask U.S. Court to End Exclusivity


I R E L A N D

EVENTELEPHANT: High Court Orders Liquidation After Cash Flow Woes
HARVEST CLO: Fitch Assigns 'BB(EXP)' Rating to Class E Notes


I T A L Y

BANCA CARIGE: S&P Cuts LT Counterparty Credit Rating to 'B+'
BANCA MONTE: Posts EUR279.3-Mil. Net Loss in 2nd Quarter 2013
BANCA POPOLARE: S&P Cuts Subordinated Debt Rating to 'B'
GAMENET SPA: S&P Assigns 'B+' Corporate Credit Rating
VENETO BANCA: S&P Cuts Issue Ratings to 'CCC+' From 'B-'


L I T H U A N I A

BANKAS SNORAS: Finalizes Sale of Consumer Finance Unit


S P A I N

* SPAIN: "Bad Bank" Sells First Package of Real Estate Assets


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

ASSAYMETRICS: In Liquidation; Insolvency Probe Launched
RANGERS FOOTBALL: Former Director Foresees Administration in Dec.


X X X X X X X X

* BOOK REVIEW: The Oil Business in Latin America: The Early Years


                            *********


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B E L G I U M
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DEXIA SA: Posts Net Loss of EUR905-Mil. in First Half 2013
----------------------------------------------------------
James Fontanella-Khan at The Financial Times reports that Dexia,
the Franco-Belgian bank that was one of the biggest victims of
the financial crisis, suffered further losses in the first half
of 2013, raising fears in Paris and Brussels that the troubled
lender could further impact their recession-hit economies.

According to the FT, the thrice bailed-out bank on Wednesday
reported a net loss of EUR905 million in the first half of 2013,
despite enjoying lower funding costs.  In the same period a year
ago, it lost EUR1.17 billion, the FT discloses.

The performance of Dexia is being closely watched by French and
Belgian authorities as their governments own most of the residual
bank, the FT notes.  They two countries were forced to inject
EUR11 billion in fresh capital and provide EUR90 billion in state
guarantees to save the bank in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis,
the FT recounts.

Further losses at Dexia -- once the world's biggest lender to
municipalities -- raises the prospect of fresh capital injections
or state guarantees from France and Belgium, the FT says.

Dexia Chairman Robert de Metz said that although the economic
environment remained uncertain, the bank was moving in the right
direction and its top priority was to protect taxpayers'
guarantees, the FT relates.  Mr. de Metz, as cited by the FT,
said the bank's progress had brought about a "further reduction
of the systemic risk still represented by Dexia".

According to the FT, government officials and analysts said Dexia
hopes to return to profitability by 2018 but still faces a number
of hurdles.

The Cour des Comptes, France's national auditor, warned in July
that Paris, which it estimated had already lost EUR6.6 billion
since it first bailed out the bank in 2008, had over-optimistic
projections for the planned run-off of Dexia's remaining assets
and could face further losses, the FT recounts.

Dexia SA is a Belgium-based banking group with activities
principally in Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Turkey in the
fields of retail and commercial banking, public and wholesale
banking, asset management and investor services.  In France,
Dexia Bank focuses on funding public sector bodies and providing
financial services to local government.  In Luxembourg, Dexia
operates in two main areas: commercial banking (for personal and
professional customers) and private banking (for international
investors).  In Turkey, Dexia is involved in retail and
commercial banking and offers services to ordinary account
holders, business and local public sector customers and
institutional clients. The Company operates through its
subsidiaries, such as Dexia Credit Local, DenizBank, Dexia
Credicop, Dexia Sabadell, Dexia Kommunalbank Deutschland, Dexia
Asset Management, among others.



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C R O A T I A
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* CITY OF ZAGREB: S&P Alters Outlook to Neg. & Affirms 'BB+' ICR
----------------------------------------------------------------
On Aug. 7, 2013, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its
outlook on the City of Zagreb to negative from stable.  The 'BB+'
long-term issuer credit rating was affirmed.

Rationale

The rating action reflects Stands & Poor's similar action on
Croatia (see "Outlook On Croatia Revised To Negative On
Structural Challenges Constraining Growth; Ratings Affirmed At
'BB+/B'," published Aug. 2, 2013, on RatingsDirect).

Under S&P's methodology, a local or regional government (LRG) can
be rated higher than its sovereign if the ratings agency believes
that it exhibits certain characteristics, as described in
"Methodology: Rating A Regional Or Local Government Higher Than
Its Sovereign," published Sept. 9, 2009.

These include:

  -- The ability to maintain stronger credit characteristics than
     the sovereign in a stress scenario. This includes, among
     other factors, lack of dependence on the sovereign for any
     applicable share of its revenues and a wealthier and more
     diversified economy than the sovereign;

  -- An institutional framework that limits the risk of negative
     sovereign intervention; and

  -- The ability to mitigate negative sovereign intervention
     through financial flexibility and independent treasury
     management.

"We do not currently believe that Croatian LRGs, including
Zagreb, meet these conditions.  Among other factors, we consider
that Zagreb lacks sufficient financial autonomy to effectively
resist significant sovereign intervention, in particular changes
to the tax-sharing rate," S&P said.

"Consequently, we do not see a possibility that we may rate
Zagreb higher than Croatia," S&P said.

Outlook

"The negative outlook mirrors that on Croatia, indicating that we
could lower our rating on the Zagreb should we lower our
sovereign rating on Croatia, all else being equal.

"We would likely revise the outlook on Zagreb to stable, all else
being equal, if we revised the outlook on Croatia to stable.

We could lower the rating on Zagreb within 12 months even if the
sovereign rating were to remain unchanged if, under our downside
scenario, the city's budgetary performance and liquidity position
deteriorated significantly.  This could stem from declining
revenues, as well as the government's need to provide additional
support to city holding company Zagrebacki Holding and return
payables owed to the central government," S&P said.

Alternatively, a downward revision of S&P's assessment of the
supportiveness and predictability of the institutional framework
under which Croatian local governments operate could also lead
the rating agency to lower the rating on Zagreb.



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G E R M A N Y
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MINIMAX VIKING: Moody's Cuts Rating on 1st Lien Debts to '(P)B2'
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the rating for the Minimax
Viking Group's first lien term loan facility and the revolving
credit facility to (P)B2 (LGD3, 45%) from (P)B1 (LGD3, 41%). At
the same time, Moody's withdrew the (P)Caa1 rating (LGD5, 89%)
assigned to the second lien term loan facility. The B2 Corporate
Family Rating and the B2-PD Probability of Default Rating to
Minimax Viking GmbH as well as the stable outlook on all the
ratings remain unchanged.

The rating action is triggered by the change in the capital
structure for the group's ongoing refinancing transaction. Given
an oversubscription in the syndication, Minimax announced on
August 5, 2013 to pursue a reverse flex to the pricing and
structure of its recapitalization that tightens margins and cuts
the initially proposed second lien term loan of EUR60 million. At
the same time, the first lien term loan will be increased from
the original EUR600 million to a total of EUR630 million, which
will remain equally split between euros and dollars. As a result,
total facilities to be arranged will decrease to EUR630 million
(all first lien) from EUR660 million (first lien + second lien),
leading to a slightly improved leverage by around 0.2x
debt/EBITDA compared to the original structure. There will be no
change in the EUR40 million committed revolving credit facility.
The guarantee facility has been reduced to EUR130 million from
the original EUR145 million, however, balanced by the flexibility
to increase bilateral guarantees outside the senior facility
agreement. In addition, the amended transaction will likely lead
to slightly improved cash flow generation, driven by lower than
initially expected interest rates as well as a lower initial
total debt figure.

Therefore the amendment is positive for the positioning of
Minimax in its B2 rating category, but negative for the first
lien debt holders, as there is no second lien debt available any
more to take the first loss in case of a default of the entity.
Hence, the downgrade of the first lien notes to (P)B2, which is
in line with the assigned corporate family rating.

Structural Consideration -- Moody's has assigned a Corporate
Family Rating (CFR) of B2 and a probability of default rating
(PDR) of B2-PD to Minimax. Given the upstream guarantees from
material subsidiaries as well as pledges of security package
(encompassing inter alia main tangible and intangible assets of
material subsidiaries), Moody's gives first ranking to the EUR630
million first lien term loan and the EUR40 million RCF, which
rank pari passu with EUR77 million trade claims as of year-end
2012, followed by an unsecured EUR65 million pension deficit and
EUR25 million lease rejection claims due in one year. As the
second lien term loan, which is a subordinated tranche and could
serve as a cushion for possible default loss, has been completely
cut in the new capital structure, Moody's decided to position the
first lien facilities at the same rating level as the CFR,
leading to a downgrade to (P)B2 from originally assigned (P)B1.
Accordingly, the (P)Caa1 rating assigned to second lien
facilities was withdrawn.

Moody's issues provisional ratings in advance of the final sale
of securities and these reflect the rating agency's credit
opinion regarding the transaction only. Upon a conclusive review
of the final documentation, Moody's will endeavor to assign
definitive ratings to these instruments. A definitive rating may
differ from a provisional rating.

The following ratings have been assigned:

Downgrades:

Issuer: Minimax GmbH & Co. KG

EUR45M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to (P)B2
from (P)B1

EUR45M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to a range
of LGD3, 45 % from a range of LGD3, 41 %

Issuer: MX Holdings US, Inc.

EUR315M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to (P)B2
from (P)B1

EUR315M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to a
range of LGD3, 45 % from a range of LGD3, 41 %

Issuer: MX Mercury Beteiligungen GmbH

EUR270M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to (P)B2
from (P)B1

EUR270M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to a
range of LGD3, 45 % from a range of LGD3, 41 %

EUR40M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to (P)B2
from (P)B1

EUR40M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to a range
of LGD3, 45 % from a range of LGD3, 41 %

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Minimax GmbH & Co. KG

Outlook, Remains Stable

Issuer: Minimax Viking GmbH

Outlook, Remains Stable

Issuer: MX Holdings US, Inc.

Outlook, Remains Stable

Issuer: MX Mercury Beteiligungen GmbH

Outlook, Remains Stable

Withdrawals:

Issuer: MX Holdings US, Inc.

EUR60M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Withdrawn ,
previously rated (P)Caa1

EUR60M Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Withdrawn ,
previously rated a range of LGD5, 89 %

Ratings Rationale:

The B2 Corporate Family Rating balances (i) the company's
resilience against economic cycles driven by a high share of
recurring revenues, (ii) a strong market position in core markets
reflecting its one-stop shopping approach and (iii) high barriers
to entry predominantly driven by regulations related to fire
protection equipment with (i) high leverage as evidenced by a
debt/EBITDA ratio pro forma for the transaction of 6.3-6.8x as
expected per full year 2013, (ii) relatively low profitability
despite the regulatory nature of its markets and a high share of
recurring services business, (iii) limited regional
diversification with 51% of turnover generated in Europe, and
Germany accounting for a major part of this, and 35% in the US,
and (iv) a shareholder oriented financial policy, as evidenced by
the repayment of a major part of Minimax' shareholder loan.

The outlook on the ratings is stable balancing the stability of
the business model with the risk resulting from the initially
high leverage. It assumes that Minimax is able to generate a
stable EBITDA margin of above 12% as adjusted by Moodys (per
2012: 11.9%), to continue to generate positive free cash flows
and to gradually reduce leverage to below 6.0x at the latest by
the end of 2014. An upgrade of the CFR would be considered should
the company manage to sustainably bring EBITDA margin (as
adjusted by Moody's) above 15%, to increase the generation of
cash flow reflected in RCF/Net debt exceeding 12% and FCF/Debt
exceeding 5% and to reduce leverage sustainably below 5x
debt/EBITDA. A rating downgrade would be considered should the
EBITDA margin of the group fall below 11% or if the company is
not able to lower leverage below 6x debt/EBITDA. Likewise, a
deterioration of its liquidity profile or Cash Flow generation
weakening below 8% RCF/Net debt or 2% FCF/Debt could result in a
downgrade.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was the Global
Manufacturing Industry published in December 2010. Other
methodologies used include Loss Given Default for Speculative-
Grade Non-Financial Companies in the U.S., Canada and EMEA
published in June 2009.

Headquartered in Bad Oldesloe, Germany, Minimax Viking GmbH
collectively with its subsidiaries is operating internationally
in the fire protection and detection markets. The group serves
its industrial and commercial clients by developing,
manufacturing and installing tailor-made solutions that comply
with international safety standards and offers follow-up services
post system installation. During 2012, Minimax group, of which
the majority of its shares is owned by funds advised by IK
Investment Partners, generated revenues of EUR1.1 billion with
its 6,531 employees.


PROVIDE GEMS 2002-1: Fitch Affirms 'C' Ratings on 2 Note Classes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has upgraded three tranches and affirmed three
tranches of Provide GEMS 2002-1 Plc, as follows:

Class A+ (ISIN XS0145700398): upgraded to 'AAAsf' from 'AA+sf';
Outlook Stable

Class A (ISIN XS0145700471): upgraded to 'AAAsf' from 'AA-sf';
Outlook Stable

Class B (ISIN XS0145701289): upgraded to 'BBBsf' from 'BBB-sf';
Outlook Positive

Class C (ISIN XS0145701792): affirmed at 'CCsf'; Recovery
Estimate revised to 75% from 85%

Class D (ISIN XS0145701875): affirmed at 'Csf'; Recovery Estimate
0%
Class E (ISIN XS0145702170): affirmed at 'Csf'; Recovery Estimate
0%

This German RMBS transaction is fully backed by second-lien
mortgage loans originated by Rheinische Hypothekenbank, now part
of Hypothekenbank Frankfurt AG (A-/Stable/F1).

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Stabilized Performance

Over the past 12 months, the volume of loans in arrears by more
than three months (excluding credit events) has remained stable
at under EUR1.5 million. In addition, loans defined as credit
events have declined to EUR36.1 million (23% of the then current
balance) from EUR49 million in June 2012 (24.9%). According to
the investor reports, the reduction has largely been driven by
the removal of loans due to ineligibility with the warranties,
which over the past year amounted to EUR9.1 million. Meanwhile,
EUR4 million of loans have been liquidated with reported period
loss severities ranging between 64% and 115%.

Credit Enhancement Sufficient to Withstand Rating Stresses
The notes in the structure are amortizing sequentially, which has
resulted in a significant build-up in credit support available to
the top of the structure. As of June 2013, the credit enhancement
available to the class A+ and class A notes was 91% and 70.6%,
respectively, (compared with 17% and 14% at transaction close).

Given the second-lien nature of the portfolio and the low levels
of recoveries achieved following the sale of the underlying
assets, Fitch has assumed zero recoveries on loans presently
defined as credit events and any future loans expected to meet
the credit event definition. The analysis showed that the level
of credit enhancement available at the top end of the structure
is sufficient to meet the expected losses and for this reason the
agency has upgraded the class A+, A and B notes to 'AAAsf' and
'BBBsf'.

The analysis also showed that further loss allocation can be
expected at the bottom end of the structure, where the class E
notes presently have losses allocated to their full outstanding
balance, while the class D notes' allocated loss equates to 7% of
their balance. This expectation is reflected in the 'CCsf' and
'Csf' ratings on the class C, D and E notes.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The transaction is susceptible to the performance of the
underlying assets. A sudden deterioration in asset performance
could lead to higher levels of credit events and losses for the
structure, which in turn would put pressure on the credit
enhancement levels, particularly at the bottom end of the
structure.


SMP DEUTSCHLAND: Fitch Cuts LT Issuer Default Rating to 'B-'
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded SMP Deutschland GmbH's (SMP,
formerly known as Peguform GmbH) Long-term Issuer Default Rating
(IDR) to 'B-' from 'B'. The Short-Term IDR is affirmed at 'B'.
The Outlook is Negative. The Rating Watch has been resolved.

The rating action reflects the affirmation of SMP's stand-alone
rating at 'B-', while removing the one-notch uplift, representing
potential support from the stronger credit profile of its
parents, Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL) and Samvardhana
Motherson International Limited (SMIL).

While MSSL's operating performance remains strong, the higher
level of group consolidated leverage compared to Fitch's previous
forecast for 2013 and 2014 raises the issue of the ability to
support SMP if needed leading to the removal of the one notch
uplift for SMP's rating.

The Negative Outlook reflects SMP's considerable underperformance
against plan for FY12, and ongoing operational issues at some of
the production plants. Although Q213 results are in line with the
company's business plan, they are still below Fitch's earlier
expectations for FY13. The ability of turning around operations
will be a key factor in maintaining the rating at the current
level.

Fitch has factored in the group's large capex requirements to
solve operational issues and fund expansion for new orders. Fitch
has noted margin pressures from continuing input cost inflation,
and pricing pressures from OEM suppliers, most notably the
Volkswagen group

In the medium- to long-term, earnings could improve, as
operational issues at some of its plants are resolved, launch
costs from model changes abate and margins from customers
improve.

Key Rating Drivers

- Weak Business Profile

SMP is a leading manufacturer of plastic car cockpits, bumpers
and door trims in Germany, Spain, China and Latin America. It
benefits from a long-standing relationship with Volkswagen AG (A-
/Positive), which has historically accounted for a substantial
portion of SMP's revenues. However, concentration risk is
reducing, thanks to new orders from Daimler and BMW.

- Parent Acquisition Debt Not Included

Although strategically core, SMP's operations are independent
from its Indian parents. The EUR190 million acquisition debt
raised by SMP GmbH is not an obligation of SMP and is fully
guaranteed and serviced by the ultimate parents, MSSL and SMIL.
This acquisition debt is therefore not included in Fitch's
computation of SMP's leverage.

- Covenant Breach at SMP Group Iberica

"We remain concerned about repeated covenant breaches at SMP
Group Iberica, which is SMP's loss-making (consolidated) Spanish
operations, given ever more stringent covenants. The company
breached the Spanish entity's consolidated debt/EBITDA covenant
under its EUR180 million facility agreement at end-March 2012 and
end March 2013, which was subsequently waived by banks. However,
SMP group level covenants were not breached," Fitch says.

- Strong Margin Pressures

"We forecast revenue growth in the mid-single digits and
continued margin pressures from continuing input cost inflation
and ongoing operational issues at some plants in the near-term.
In the longer term, we expect earnings to improve, as operational
issues are resolved, launch costs from model changes abate and
margin from customer orders improve compared with historically
lower profit projects," Fitch states.

- Tight Liquidity:

SMP's liquidity is tight, although it benefits from comfort
letters provided by the Indian parents. Cash on balance sheet of
more than EUR40 million at end-2012 is sufficient to cover an
estimated EUR30 million in debt maturities in 2013. These cash
reserves and cash generated from operations (CFO) is, however,
barely sufficient to cover capex requirements and debt servicing.

- Break-even Free Cash Flow

Fitch currently expects the EBITDA margin to remain in excess of
4% for 2013 and 2014, funds from operations (FFO) adjusted
leverage at or above 3.0x and free cash flow returning to
breakeven levels.

Rating Sensitivities

Positive: The ratings could be stabilized, if operational issues
are resolved successfully, SMP's EBIT margin is sustainably above
2%, FCF margin is neutral to positive and FFO adjusted leverage
is sustainably below 4.0x.

Negative: The ratings could be further downgraded on signs of
liquidity stress or continued operational problems leading to SMP
not achieving the above mentioned guidelines

In accordance with Fitch's policies, the issuer appealed and
provided additional information to Fitch that resulted in a
rating action that is different than the original rating
committee outcome.



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EXCEL MARITIME: US Court OKs Vessels Sale for US$43.2 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
BankruptcyData reported that a bankruptcy court in the United
States approved Excel Maritime Carriers' motion for an order
authorizing the sale of vessels free and clear of liens, claims,
interests and encumbrances for an amount of US$43.2 million and
dismissing the Odell and Minta cases upon consummation of the
sale.

Prior to commencement of the Chapter 11 cases, Excel Maritime
Carriers began negotiating with Credit Suisse to restructure and
settle the obligations under the Odell/Minta Facility, including
possibly via an agreed foreclosure proceeding or the Debtors'
formal abandonment of the vessels to Credit Suisse, pursuant to
Section 554 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Excel Maritime Carriers and Credit Suisse ultimately reached an
agreement whereby the Company will sell 100% of its stock
ownership of Odell and Minta, pursuant to a sale under section
363 of the Bankruptcy Code.  In short, Credit Suisse (the
stalking horse bidder) has agreed to credit bid, pursuant to
Section 363(k) of the Bankruptcy Code, up to the maximum amount
of its secured claim against the vessels securing the Odell/Minta
Facility. If Credit Suisse is the successful bidder, the
transaction will be effectuated by a transfer by Excel Maritime
Carriers of the shares in Odell and Minta, with Credit Suisse
directing the stock to Blueberry Shipping.

                       About Excel Maritime

Based in Athens, Greece, Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. --
http://www.excelmaritime.com/-- is an owner and operator of dry
bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation
services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains,
as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products.  Excel owns a
fleet of 40 vessels and, together with 7 Panamax vessels under
bareboat charters, operates 47 vessels (5 Capesize, 14 Kamsarmax,
21 Panamax, 2 Supramax and 5 Handymax vessels) with a total
carrying capacity of approximately 3.9 million DWT.  Excel Class
A common shares have been listed since Sept. 15, 2005, on the New
York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EXM and, prior to
that date, were listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX)
since 1998.

The company blamed financial problems on low charter rates.

The balance sheet for December 2011 had assets of US$2.72 billion
and liabilities totaling US$1.16 billion.  Excel owes US$771
million to secured lenders with liens on almost all assets.
There is US$150 million owing on 1.875 percent unsecured
convertible notes.

Excel Maritime filed a Chapter 11 petition (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
No. 13-23060) on July 1, 2013, in New York after signing an
agreement where secured lenders owed US$771 million support a
reorganization plan filed alongside the petition.

Excel, which sought bankruptcy with a number of affiliates, has
tapped Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, as counsel;
Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC, as investment banker; and Global
Maritime Partners Inc., as financial advisor.

A five-member official committee of unsecured creditors was
appointed by the U.S. Trustee.


EXCEL MARITIME: Creditors Ask U.S. Court to End Exclusivity
-----------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reported that unsecured creditors of drybulk shipper
Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd have asked a bankruptcy court in the
United States to terminate the exclusivity period for the
company's reorganization plan, saying the package benefited only
secured lenders and controlling shareholders.

The exclusivity period refers to the 120-day period in which only
the company can file a plan of reorganization after a bankruptcy
petition, the report noted.

Excel's exclusivity period started on July 1 and as long as it is
in effect no competing plans can be put forward, the report
further noted.

The committee representing the unsecured creditors said late last
month that Excel's bondholders were planning to file a rival
reorganization plan, the report related.

Excel will get US$50 million of new capital and access to US$30
million of restricted cash under the current reorganization plan
between Excel and its senior lenders and an entity affiliated
with the family of Chairman Gabriel Panayotides, the report
added.

                       About Excel Maritime

Based in Athens, Greece, Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. --
http://www.excelmaritime.com/-- is an owner and operator of dry
bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation
services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains,
as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products.  Excel owns a
fleet of 40 vessels and, together with 7 Panamax vessels under
bareboat charters, operates 47 vessels (5 Capesize, 14 Kamsarmax,
21 Panamax, 2 Supramax and 5 Handymax vessels) with a total
carrying capacity of approximately 3.9 million DWT.  Excel Class
A common shares have been listed since Sept. 15, 2005, on the New
York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EXM and, prior to
that date, were listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX)
since 1998.

The company blamed financial problems on low charter rates.

The balance sheet for December 2011 had assets of US$2.72 billion
and liabilities totaling US$1.16 billion.  Excel owes US$771
million to secured lenders with liens on almost all assets.
There is US$150 million owing on 1.875 percent unsecured
convertible notes.

Excel Maritime, filed a Chapter 11 petition (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
No. 13-bk- 23060) on July 1, 2013, in New York after signing an
agreement where secured lenders owed US$771 million support a
reorganization plan filed alongside the petition.

Excel, which sought bankruptcy with a number of affiliates, has
tapped Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, as counsel;
Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC, as investment banker; and Global
Maritime Partners Inc., as financial advisor.

A five-member official committee of unsecured creditors was
appointed by the U.S. Trustee.



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EVENTELEPHANT: High Court Orders Liquidation After Cash Flow Woes
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh at The Irish Times report that
the High Court has ordered the winding up of Eventelephant.

According to the Irish Times, the court made the order after
being told the company had no prospect of survival.

The company had been in examinership since mid-July, the Irish
Times notes.  On Wednesday, following an application by the
firm's interim examiner Joseph Walsh, Mr. Justice Paul McDermott
removed the protection of the courts from the company, the Irish
Times relates.

The judge also appointed Mr. Walsh and Neil Hughes as joint
liquidators of the firm, the Irish Times discloses.

The company's directors had petitioned the court last month for
Mr. Walsh's appointment after experiencing cash-flow
difficulties, arguing it had a reasonable prospect of survival as
a going concern if certain measures could be agreed with its
creditors, the Irish Times recounts.

However, on Wednesday, solicitor Barry Lyons for Mr. Walsh asked
the court to end the examinership because monies promised by the
firm's directors to pay staff wages during the period of
protection had not been made available, the Irish Times notes.

Staff were leaving the company and in order to protect the value
of the firm's assets, maximize the return to creditors, and save
some of the jobs, it was appropriate Eventelephant be wound up,
the Irish Times discloses.

Mr. Lyons added that Mr. Walsh also had concerns about a criminal
investigation into the company currently being undertaken by
Revenue, the Irish Times notes.  According to the Irish Times,
Mr. Walsh also had sought information about EUR1.4 million in
funds which had not been paid over by the company to parties who
had organized events.  The court heard that the appointment of a
liquidator would protect those funds pending the completion of an
investigation, according to the Irish Times.

The company's main creditors include the Revenue Commissioners
and AIB, the Irish Times discloses.

Eventelephant is an Irish software firm which creates web pages
to advertise and sell tickets for events.


HARVEST CLO: Fitch Assigns 'BB(EXP)' Rating to Class E Notes
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned Harvest CLO VII Ltd's notes expected
ratings, as follows:

EUR177.0m Class A: 'AAA(EXP)sf'; Outlook Stable
EUR34.0m Class B: 'AA+(EXP)sf'; Outlook Stable
EUR20.0m Class C: 'A(EXP)sf'; Outlook Stable
EUR13.6m Class D: 'BBB+(EXP)sf'; Outlook Stable
EUR23.0m Class E: 'BB(EXP)sf'; Outlook Stable
EUR42.0m Subordinated Notes: not rated

Key Rating Drivers

Sufficient Credit Enhancement
Credit enhancement (CE) for the rated notes, in addition to
excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default
and recovery rate projections in the applicable rating scenario.
The level of CE for the rated notes is higher than the average
for Fitch-rated legacy CLOs.

'B'/'B-' Portfolio Credit Quality
Fitch expects the average credit quality of obligors to be in the
'B'/'B-' range.

Above-Average Recoveries
At least 90% of the portfolio will comprise senior secured loans
and senior secured bonds. Recovery prospects for these assets are
typically more favorable than for second-lien, unsecured, and
mezzanine assets.

Limited Basis/Reset Risk
Basis and reset risk is naturally hedged for most of the
portfolio through the floating rate, semi-annually paying
liabilities. Fixed rate assets can account for no more than 10%
of the portfolio and no more than 5% of the assets can pay
interest less frequently than semi-annually.

Limited FX Risk
Asset swaps are used to mitigate any currency risk from non-euro-
denominated assets. The manager may leave non-euro assets
purchased in the primary market unhedged for up to six months
from purchase provided they do not exceed 5% of the portfolio
notional. All other non-euro assets have to be hedged using
suitable asset swaps. Non-euro assets are limited to 30% of the
portfolio. Unhedged assets up to the 5% limit are subject to a
50% haircut in the overcollateralization tests. A haircut of 100%
is applied to any excess unhedged assets.

Transaction Summary

Harvest CLO VII Ltd (the issuer) is an arbitrage cash flow CLO.
Net proceeds from the issuance of the notes will be used to
purchase a EUR300 million portfolio of European leveraged loans
and bonds. The portfolio is managed by 3i Debt Management
Investments Limited. The reinvestment period is scheduled to end
in 2017.

The transaction documents may be amended subject to rating agency
confirmation or note holder approval. Where rating agency
confirmation relates to risk factors, Fitch will analyze the
proposed change and may provide a comment if the change would not
have a negative impact on the then current ratings. Such
amendments may delay the repayment of the notes as long as
Fitch's analysis confirms the expected repayment of principal at
the legal final maturity.

If in the agency's opinion the amendment is risk-neutral from the
perspective of the rating Fitch may decline to comment.
Noteholders should be aware that the structure considers the
confirmation to be given in the case where Fitch declines to
comment.

Rating Sensitivities

A 25% increase in the expected obligor default probability would
lead to a downgrade of one to three notches for the rated notes.

A 25% reduction in the expected recovery rates would lead to a
downgrade of one to four notches for the rated notes.



=========
I T A L Y
=========


BANCA CARIGE: S&P Cuts LT Counterparty Credit Rating to 'B+'
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it lowered its long-
term counterparty credit rating on Italy-based Banca Carige SpA
(Carige or the bank) to 'B+' from 'BB-'.

"The long-term rating remains on CreditWatch with negative
implications, where we placed it on March 22, 2013.  We also
placed the 'B' short-term counterparty credit rating on Carige on
CreditWatch with negative implications.

At the same time, we lowered the ratings on Carige's non-
deferrable subordinated and junior subordinated debt to 'CCC-'
from 'CCC+' and 'CCC', respectively.  All debt ratings remain on
CreditWatch with negative implications," S&P said.

The lowering of the long-term rating on Carige follows the recent
announcement of resignations of the majority of Carige's board
members and the request by the Bank of Italy that Carige
reclassify about EUR600 million of booked loans as nonperforming
assets (NPAs).

"In our view, these developments suggest increased execution risk
for Carige's capital strengthening plans, additional weakness in
its management and strategy, and greater challenges for its
business stability than we had previously incorporated into the
ratings," S&P said.

Between July 31 and Aug. 2, 2013, Carige announced the
resignation of eight out of 15 members of its board of directors.
According to Carige, the resignations are in line with a plan to
improve its governance and align it with best practices in the
Italian banking sector, as established by the Bank of Italy.

"We understand that new board members will be voted upon by
Carige's shareholders at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting,
which, we understand, is required by law due to the resignation
of the majority of the board members," S&P said.

According to Carige's management, the extraordinary shareholders'
meeting will likely take place end-September or beginning of
October. In the meantime, the bank has confirmed all 15 current
board members will remain in place.  There has not been any
further announcement about the future membership of Carige's
board or any potential subsequent changes to its other governing
bodies.

In addition, Carige's second-quarter results announced on Aug. 1,
2013 revealed a net loss of EUR78 million, driven by higher loan
loss provisions.  The latter were mainly related to the
reclassification, at the request of the Bank of Italy, of about
EUR600 million of booked loans as NPAs (or 2.3% of reported gross
loans).

"In our view, the reclassification suggests additional weaknesses
in Carige's risk management and internal control processes," S&P
said.

"In our view, the uncertainties that have arisen following the
resignations of the board members and what we see as risk
management and internal control issues that led to the
reclassification suggest greater-than-anticipated challenges for
Carige's business stability and weaker management and strategy,"
S&P said.

"As a result, we have revised our assessment of Carige's business
position to 'moderate' from 'adequate.'

"In our view, these uncertainties could further increase what we
already considered to be material execution risks associated with
Carige's capital strengthening plan, which follow the Bank of
Italy's request for Carige to improve its solvency levels.  We
had already anticipated that Carige's plan to raise a total of
EUR800 million through asset disposals and a new rights issue
would be particularly challenging given the prevailing difficult
economic environment.  We also note that we do not typically
factor into our ratings a bank's plans for realizing capital
gains on asset sales until we have certainty about their timing
and size, particularly when economic conditions are tough.  As a
result, we now consider that it will be increasingly difficult
for Carige to achieve a projected risk-adjusted capital (RAC)
ratio sustainably in the 4%-5% range through these measures.
Therefore, in our assessment of Carige's stand-alone credit
profile (SACP) we take into account that Carige's capital and
earnings position is now primarily based on a RAC ratio in the
3%-4% range.  Our RAC ratio for Carige as of end-2012 is 3.4%,"
S&P said.

"As a result of our lower assessment of Carige's business and
capital positions, we have revised down Carige's SACP to 'ccc+'
from 'b'.

"However, our revised view of Carige's capital has not affected
the ratings on Carige as we now incorporate into the ratings one
notch of uplift for short-term capital support. This uplift
reflects our view that, if Carige is unable to complete its
capital strengthening plan, we consider it likely that its
solvency levels would still improve to comply with the capital
improvement requested by the Bank of Italy, so that our RAC ratio
for Carige would likely be in the range of 4%-5%, either through
a market-based solution, or regulatory action," S&P said.

"As a result, we have lowered our long-term rating on Carige by
one notch to 'B+' from 'BB-' despite the two-notch lowering of
the bank's SACP.

"Consistent with our criteria, we have also lowered the ratings
on Carige's nondeferrable subordinated and junior subordinated
debt to 'CCC-' from 'CCC+' and 'CCC', respectively, due to the
lowering of Carige's SACP.

"The CreditWatch reflects the possibility that we could lower the
long-term rating on Carige if we consider that the uncertainties
about the membership of, and strategic guidelines set by,
Carige's board of directors are likely to have a negative impact
on its business and financial profiles," S&P said.

S&P could also lower the ratings if it anticipates, contrary to
its current expectations, and all else being equal that:

-- Carige would be unable to implement a credible plan to reduce
    its exposure to funding from the European Central Bank (ECB)
    and correct funding imbalances to achieve a more sustainable
    liquidity position by the time the ECB's Long-Term
    Refinancing Operations expire.

-- Carige would be unable to complete its capital strengthening
    plan without either a market-based solution or regulatory
    action being put in place to restore its solvency at the
    level required by the regulator.

"The CreditWatch placement on the short-term rating on Carige
reflects the typical correlation with a long-term rating on a
bank," S&P said.


BANCA MONTE: Posts EUR279.3-Mil. Net Loss in 2nd Quarter 2013
-------------------------------------------------------------
Sonia Sirletti and Francesca Cinelli at Bloomberg News report
that Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena -- the Italian bank seeking
to persuade European regulators it deserves a bailout -- reported
a fifth straight loss in the second quarter on the cost of state
aid and higher provisions for bad loans.

According to Bloomberg, the net loss fell to EUR279.3 million
(US$372 million) from EUR1.64 billion a year earlier, when
Monte Paschi wrote down goodwill and intangible assets by more
than EUR1.5 billion.

Revenue in the second quarter fell 22% to EUR1.02 billion from a
year earlier, hurt by lower income from lending and the state aid
costs, Bloomberg discloses.

Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Viola is waiting for European
regulators to approve the latest restructuring plan for
Monte Paschi to retain rights to EUR4.1 billion of state aid,
which it got from selling bonds to the government, Bloomberg
says.  The Siena-based bank, which must pay 9% annual interest on
the bonds, plans more asset disposals, branch cuts and savings to
return to profit this year, a necessary condition under the plan
to avoid surrendering a stake to the government, Bloomberg
notes.

According to Bloomberg, Monte Paschi's restructuring plan
submitted to the European Commission in June "reflects a more
fragile macroeconomic scenario as a result of the persisting
economic crisis in Europe, with negative repercussions on revenue
generation and loan loss provisions."

The bank plans additional actions, targeting cost savings of
EUR140 million in 2013 and EUR190 million in 2015, Bloomberg
discloses.  "The bank is ready to accept indications from EU
Commission aimed at improving restructuring plan under review,"
Mr. Viola, as cited by Bloomberg, said.

According to Bloomberg, a letter sent by EU competition Chief
Joaquin Almunia to Finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni on
July 16 said Europe's regulators may insist on tougher measures
on cost-cutting, executive pay and treatment of creditors to
approve the restructuring.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA -- http://www.mps.it/-- is
an Italy-based company engaged in the banking sector.  It
provides traditional banking services, asset management and
private banking, including life insurance, pension funds and
investment trusts.  In addition, it offers investment banking,
including project finance, merchant banking and financial
advisory services.  The Company comprises more than 3,000
branches, and a structure of channels of distribution.  Banca
Monte dei Paschi di Siena Group has subsidiaries located
throughout Italy, Europe, America, Asia and North Africa.  It has
numerous subsidiaries, including Mps Sim SpA, MPS Capital
Services Banca per le Imprese SpA, MPS Banca Personale SpA, Banca
Toscana SpA, Monte Paschi Ireland Ltd. and Banca MP Belgio SpA.

                          *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on June 19,
2013, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it lowered its
long-term counterparty credit rating on Italy-based Banca Monte
dei Paschi di Siena SpA (MPS) to 'B' from 'BB', and affirmed the
'B' short-term rating.  S&P also lowered its rating on MPS' Lower
Tier 2 subordinated notes to 'CCC-' from 'CCC+'.  S&P affirmed
the ratings on MPS' junior subordinated debt at 'CCC-' and on its
preferred stock at 'C'.  At the same time, S&P removed the
ratings from CreditWatch, where it placed them with negative
implications on Dec. 5, 2012.


BANCA POPOLARE: S&P Cuts Subordinated Debt Rating to 'B'
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it has corrected an
error in the issue rating on Italian Banca Popolare di Vicenza's
non-deferrable subordinated debt by lowering such issue rating to
'B' from 'B+'.

"Under our criteria, we rate subordinated debt two notches below
a bank's stand-alone credit profile (SACP) when the SACP is 'bb+'
or lower.  When we took a rating action on Banca Popolare di
Vicenza on July 24, 2013, we inadvertently lowered the above debt
rating by one notch instead of two notches.

"The action corrects this error," S&P said.


GAMENET SPA: S&P Assigns 'B+' Corporate Credit Rating
-----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B+' corporate
credit rating to Italy-based gaming company Gamenet S.p.A. The
outlook is stable.

"At the same time, we assigned the EUR200 million senior secured
bond due 2018, issued by Gamenet, an issue rating of 'B+', and a
recovery rating of '3', indicating our expectation of meaningful
(50%-70%) recovery prospects for lenders in the event of a
payment default," S&P said.

"The 'B+' corporate credit rating on Gamenet reflects our view
that the company has a "weak" business risk profile and an
"aggressive" financial risk profile, according to our criteria,"
S&P said.

Gamenet operates in Italy and is one of the leading players in
the gaming machine segment (second concessionaire after GTECH
S.p.A.). The group is a licensed gaming operator for betting and
online products, although this segment is still marginal on a
consolidated basis (less than 5% of consolidated revenues).

"The final terms of the completed refinancing were broadly in
line with our expectations when we assigned our preliminary 'B+'
corporate credit rating on July 23, 2013.  Our assessment of
Gamenet's business risk profile as "weak" reflects the company's
small scale (compared with other rated players) and limited
geographic and product diversification. In particular, we
consider the lack of diversification, and sole exposure to the
waning Italian economy and declining consumer spending, along
with our view of the maturing Italian gaming market after years
of solid growth, as constraints.  Furthermore, we take into
account the risks of increasing tax pressure from the Italian
gaming regulator (although we understand that industry players
could have some flexibility to offset this by adjusting the
payout). Gamenet operates within the Italian gaming machine
industry, where it is one of the leading players.  We view the
segment as fairly fragmented, although it presents high barriers
to entry in terms of long-term licenses (awarded up to 2022) and
sizable investments," S&P said.

"We assess Gamenet's financial risk profile as "aggressive,"
mostly reflecting its financial sponsor ownership. Gamenet is
controlled by private equity Trilantic Capital Partners.  As per
our criteria, despite financial sponsor ownership, our assessment
of Gamenet's financial risk profile as "aggressive" reflects our
projected adjusted leverage ratio at consistently less than 5.0x,
the company's "adequate" liquidity profile, and our perception
that the risk of material releveraging is low and that adjusted
leverage will remain at less than 5.0x.  Our assessment is based
on what we see as a fairly conservative track record of the
financial sponsor with regard to financial policy and risk
appetite," S&P said.

The issue rating on the EUR200 million senior secured notes is
'B+'.

"The recovery rating on these instruments is '3', reflecting our
expectation of meaningful (50%-70%) recovery in the event of a
payment default.  The recovery and issue ratings are underpinned
by our evaluation of Gamenet as a going concern and the company's
fairly simple capital structure," S&P said.

"At the same time, the recovery and issue ratings are constrained
by our view of the weak security package only comprising share
pledges (on the entity that generates 100% of EBITDA), and the
likelihood of insolvency proceedings being adversely influenced
by Gamenet's Italian domicile. We view Italy as having a
relatively unfavorable insolvency regime for secured creditors,"
S&P said.

The senior secured notes benefit from relatively standard terms
for an issue of this nature.  The notes include a standard
package of non-financial covenants restricting disposals, liens,
mergers, sale of assets, dividend payments and incurrence
covenants.  This will limit the incurrence of additional
indebtedness in case the fixed-charge coverage ratio is less than
2.0x and of senior secured indebtedness in case the consolidated
secured leverage ratio is greater than 3.0x.

The documentation allows for up to EUR35 million in a revolving
credit facility, a EUR15 million finance lease, and a EUR40
million general basket including any refinancing.

However, priority indebtedness will be limited to EUR15 million.

As required under applicable law to secure its obligations under
its various concessions, the issuer has procured certain off-
balance-sheet guarantees linked to performance from bank and
insurance companies.  As of May 31, 2013, the total amount
outstanding under these guarantees is EUR59 million.

"Although we have not factored this into our recovery
calculation, we believe there is a risk that a portion of these
bank guarantees could be outstanding at the point of default and
could rank pari passu with the rated notes, which, in our view,
would dilute the recovery prospects for the bondholders," S&P
said.

"In order to determine recoveries, we simulate a default
scenario. As a gaming company, Gamenet operates in a highly
regulated sector.  Therefore, our hypothetical default scenario
assumes some decline in revenues and margins, primarily stemming
from the potential introduction of regulatory and tax reforms in
Italy and/or losing some licenses (online and betting) on their
expiration.  It also assumes deterioration in the current general
economic environment, with rising unemployment reducing
consumers' discretionary spending and retail earnings. Under our
scenario, EBITDA declines to about EUR41 million by the time of
our hypothetical point of default in 2017," S&P said.

"In our simulated default, we value the business as a going
concern, based on the company's strong market share, leading
brands, cash-generative businesses, and barriers to entry. Under
these assumptions, we calculate an enterprise value of about
EUR225 million at our simulated point of default, equivalent to
5.5x EBITDA. In order to determine recovery prospects, we then
deduct EUR16 million of priority obligations, which mostly
comprise enforcement costs.  This leaves a net enterprise value
of about EUR210 million available to debtholders.  On this basis,
we see recovery prospects in the 50%-70% range for the EUR200
million senior secured debt.  While the nominal calculated
recovery is higher than the indicated threshold, we have assigned
a recovery rating of '3'," S&P said.

"This is because our criteria for the insolvency regime of Italy
requires higher numerical coverage to lead to a higher recovery
rating.

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the company will
maintain leverage of less than 5.0x, preserve sufficient
liquidity for operating needs, and continue to generate positive
discretionary cash flow.  The stable outlook also reflects our
view that Gamenet's profitability will grow further over the
next few years. We base this view on the company's strategy to
expand its new product offering to betting and online through the
roll out of 81 new betting licenses in selected gaming halls and
the introduction of virtual races. Our view also reflects the
expansion of Gamenet's directly managed retail network
through the buyout of small point of sales," S&P said.

"We could consider lowering the rating if adverse operating
developments and/or a material departure from Gamenet's financial
policy (in terms of a higher risk appetite) cause its credit
metrics to significantly deteriorate.   Specifically, the rating
could come under pressure if adjusted EBITDA interest coverage
declines to less than 3.0x and adjusted gross debt to EBITDA
exceeds 5.0x, or if we reassess Gamenet's liquidity as "less than
adequate" under our criteria," S&P said.

"A positive rating action would depend on the group achieving
better product diversification, sustaining a resilient operating
performance, and steadily growing its profit and size.  This
would depend on a successful implementation of the strategic plan
to enhance its betting and online offering, along with further
consolidation in the machine segment and effective expansion of
the controlled retail network.  This, if combined with a
consistently rigorous financial policy, could lead to a possible
one-notch upgrade," S&P said.


VENETO BANCA: S&P Cuts Issue Ratings to 'CCC+' From 'B-'
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it has corrected an
error in the issue ratings on Italian Veneto Banca SCPA's non-
deferrable subordinated debt and preferred securities by lowering
such issue ratings to 'B' from 'B+' and to 'CCC+' from 'B-',
respectively.

"Under our criteria, we rate subordinated debt two notches below
a bank's stand-alone credit profile (SACP) when the SACP is 'bb+'
or lower.  When we took a rating action on Veneto Banca on
July 24, 2013, we inadvertently lowered the above debt ratings by
one notch instead of two notches," S&P said.

Additionally, S&P rates preferred securities issued by Veneto
Banca four notches below its SACP.

"The action corrects this error," S&P said.



=================
L I T H U A N I A
=================


BANKAS SNORAS: Finalizes Sale of Consumer Finance Unit
------------------------------------------------------
Toomas Hobemagi at Baltic Business News reports that Snoras,
Lithuania's bankrupt commercial bank in liquidation, said it has
finalized the sale of its consumer finance company Snoro Lizingas
(Snoras Leasing) on Wednesday.

According to BBN, Snoro Lizingas was sold to Estonian bank LHV,
investment group Zabolis Partners and the Rakauskas family, the
owner of Senukai DIY chain.

The transaction, including full repayment of loans to Snoras, was
worth LTL74 million (EUR21.45 million), BBN discloses.

"We are pleased to announce that we have sold Snoro Lizingas to a
reliable investor group, which shall ensure continuing success of
the company.  This sale represents a good outcome for the
creditors of Snoras," BBN quotes Snoras bankruptcy administrator,
Neil Cooper, as saying.

The balance of loans extended to Snoro Lizingas by Snoras totaled
LTL66.341 million at the end of last year, BBN notes.

                       About Bankas Snoras

Bankas Snoras AB is Lithuania's fifth biggest lender.  Snoras
held LTL6.05 billion in deposits and had assets of LTL8.14
billion at the end of September.  It competes with Scandinavian
lenders including SEB AB, Swedbank AB (SWEDA), and Nordea AB.  It
also controls investment bank Finasta and Latvian lender Latvijas
Krajbanka AS.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 2,
2011, The Baltic Times, citing LETA/ELTA, said Vilnius District
Court accepted the application regarding the initiation of
bankruptcy proceedings against Snoras bank.  The Bank of
Lithuania delivered application on Snoras bankruptcy on Nov. 28,
2011.

The TCR-Europe, citing Bloomberg News, reported on Nov. 28, 2011,
that Lithuania's central bank said that Snoras' financial
situation is "worse than previously identified" and saving the
bank "would cost significantly more and would take longer than
the available liquidity" at Snoras.  Governor Vitas Vasiliauskas
said at a news conference on Nov. 24 that some LTL3.4 billion
(US$1.3 billion) in assets are missing, according to Bloomberg.



=========
S P A I N
=========


* SPAIN: "Bad Bank" Sells First Package of Real Estate Assets
-------------------------------------------------------------
Miles Johnson at The Financial Times reports that Spain's "bad
bank," established last year to clean up the country's real
estate collapse, has sold its first package of real estate
assets, to private equity group HIG Capital, in a transaction
expected to set a precedent for a string of other deals.

According to the FT, Sareb, the Spanish state run management
company that houses assets transferred from the country's bailed
out banks, said it had sold 51% of a portfolio including 939
homes to HIG, in a deal valuing the assets at EUR100 million.

Senior executives at Sareb have said they hope the closure of the
sale, known as "Project Bull", will pave the way for several
larger but similarly structured sales to take place later this
year and in 2014, the FT relates.

The deal, which includes 750 other premises such as car parks and
storage units and one retail unit, will be the first in Spain
structured using a low tax financial vehicle known as a Bank
Asset Fund (FAB), established to attract foreign buyers to invest
in Sareb's assets, the FT discloses.

FAB vehicles will pay only 1% corporation tax in Spain, and allow
non-resident investors to avoid paying tax altogether, the FT
notes.

By retaining a 49% stake in the assets, Sareb is following a
stated policy of wanting to hold on to what its management
believe will be significant upside in the coming years, while
completing its mandate to offload its EUR50 billion of assets
within a 15-year timeframe, the FT states.

Sareb was created by the Spanish government at the end of last
year as a condition of the memorandum of understanding it signed
with European authorities to receive bailout money for the
troubled part of its banking sector, principally Bankia, which
received the largest state banking rescue in the country's
history, the FT recounts.



===========================
U N I T E D   K I N G D O M
===========================


ASSAYMETRICS: In Liquidation; Insolvency Probe Launched
-------------------------------------------------------
Western Mail reports that Assaymetrics has gone into liquidation.
Directors of Assaymetrics, which is based at the Cardiff
Medicentre, took the decision to wind up the company when it
became insolvent, according to the report.

Swansea-based liquidator McAlister and Co. is now in the process
of realizing the assets of the business, Western Mail discloses.

It is unclear at this stage how much money can be recovered for
creditors, Western Mail notes.  An investigation has also been
launched into the reasons which led to the company becoming
insolvent, the report relates.

The business is now in the process of being broken up and will
not be sold as a going concern, says.

Cambridge-based TTP Lab-Tech has bought the majority of the
intellectual property rights of Assaymetrics, Western Mail
discloses.  TTP LabTech also bought technical equipment from
Assaymetrics, according to the report.

It is understood the majority of the creditors are in England as
well as some international creditors, according to Western Mail.
Sandra McAlister -- sandra@mcalisterco.co.uk -- of McAlister and
Co Insolvency Practitioners was appointed as liquidator at a
meeting of creditors earlier this week, Western Mail recounts.

Assaymetrics is a medical testing equipment company.


RANGERS FOOTBALL: Former Director Foresees Administration in Dec.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Scotsman reports that former Rangers director Dave King has
warned that the Rangers Football Club could go into
administration by Christmas unless Charles Green lowers his
asking price and sells up.

According to the Scotsman, the South African-based businessman is
looking to acquire a controlling stake but has branded the
current share asking price "absurd".

Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green, who is now acting
as a consultant for the club, has told minority shareholder Jim
McColl that his consortium will sell its 28% stake in the club if
given GBP14 million by Friday, the Scotsman relates.

Mr. Green's consortium bought the assets of Rangers following its
liquidation and formed a newco club, the Scotsman recounts.

Mr. King's personal assets have been unfrozen after he reached
agreement with the South African tax authorities although he
still faces criminal charges, the Scotsman discloses.

According to the Scotsman, he told the Mail: "I am absolutely
100% certain that none of these factors are an issue at the
present moment.

"The greater obstacle remains Green's insistence on seeking 70p
for shares that are currently just worth over half that on the
stock market.

"The current regime has made offers of shares to me at various
stages and various levels.

"But the amounts on offer are insufficient to exercise any real
control -- and I have regarded the share price they have been
asking as absurd.

"I am happy to be part of a recapitalization of the club.  But my
preference would be to be issued with new shares.  And the money
I provide must go into the club.

"And it must be properly controlled and properly managed.

"I don't see myself or anyone else putting money in to pay these
guys off."

Mr. King warned that the club was close to running out of money,
the Scotsman relates.

He said: "There is an inevitability to the fact that the people
currently operating Rangers are going to run out of cash.

"The club raised GBP22 million via an IPO (Initial Public
Offering) and that was whittled down to virtually nothing.

"I think it was down to GBP5 million or GBP6 million in the bank
and has now got a boost via season ticket sales.

"But the way, directors are spending money on Green's consultancy
fees and other things, I don't think they will make Christmas."

                   About Rangers Football Club

Rangers Football Club PLC -- http://www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk/
-- is a United Kingdom-based company engaged in the operation of
a professional football club.  The Company has launched its own
Internet television station, RANGERSTV.tv.  The station combines
the use of Internet television programming alongside traditional
Web-based services.  Services offered include the streaming of
home matches and on-demand streaming of domestic and European
games, which include dedicated pre-match, half-time and post-
match commentary.  The Company will produce dedicated news
magazine and feature programs, while the fans can also access a
library of classic European, Old Firm and Scottish Premier League
(SPL) action.  Its own dedicated television studio at Ibrox
provides onsite production, editing and encoding facilities to
produce content for distribution on all media platforms.



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* BOOK REVIEW: The Oil Business in Latin America: The Early Years
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Author: John D. Wirth Ed.
Publisher: Beard Books
Softcover: 282 pages
List price: $34.95
Review by Gail Owens Hoelscher
Buy a copy for yourself and one for a colleague on-line at
http://is.gd/DvFouR

This book grew out of a 1981 meeting of the American Historical
Society. It highlights the origin and evolution of the stateowned
petroleum companies in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and
Venezuela.

Argentina was the first country ever to nationalize its
petroleum industry, and soon it was the norm worldwide, with the
notable exception of the United States. John Wirth calls this
phenomenon "perhaps in our century the oldest and most
celebrated of confrontations between powerful private entities
and the state."

The book consists of five case studies and a conclusion, as
follows:

* Jersey Standard and the Politics of Latin American Oil
Production, 1911-30 (Jonathan C. Brown)
* YPF: The Formative Years of Latin America's Pioneer State
Oil Company, 1922-39 (Carl E. Solberg)
* Setting the Brazilian Agenda, 1936-39 (John Wirth)
* Pemex: The Trajectory of National Oil Policy (Esperanza
Duran)
* The Politics of Energy in Venezuela (Edwin Lieuwen)
* The State Companies: A Public Policy Perspective (Alfred
H. Saulniers)

The authors assess the conditions at the time they were writing,
and relate them back to the critical formative years for each of
the companies under review. They also examine the four
interconnecting roles of a state-run oil industry and
distinguish them from those of a private company. First, is the
entrepreneurial role of control, management, and exploitation of
a nation's oil resources. Second, is production for the private
industrial sector at attractive prices. Third, is the
integration of plans for military, financial, and development
programs into the overall industrial policy planning process.
Finally, in some countries is the promotion of social
development by subsidizing energy for consumers and by promoting
the government's ideas of social and labor policy and labor
relations.

The author's approach is "conceptual and policy oriented rather
than narrative," but they provide a fascinating look at the
politics and development of the region. Mr. Brown provides a
concise history of the early years of the Standard Oil group and
the effects of its 1911 dissolution on its Latin American
operations, as well as power struggles with competitors and
governments that eventually nationalized most of its activities.

Mr. Solberg covers the many years of internal conflict over oil
policy in Argentina and YPF's lack of monopoly control over all
sectors of the oil industry. Mr. Wirth describes the politics
and individuals behind the privatization of Brazil's oil
industry leading to the creation of Petrobras in 1953. Mr. Duran
notes the wrangling between provinces and central government in
the evolution of Pemex, and in other Latin American countries.
Mr. Lieuwin discusses the mixed blessing that oil has proven for
Venezuela., creating a lopsided economy dependent on the ups and
downs of international markets. Mr. Saunders concludes that many
of the then-current problems of the state oil companies were
rooted in their early and checkered histories." Indeed, he says,
"the problems of the past have endured not because the public
petroleum companies behaved like the public enterprises they
are; they have endured because governments, as public owners,
have abdicated their responsibilities to the companies."
John D. Wirth is Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies at
Standford University.


                            *********

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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-
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