TCREUR_Public/140207.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, February 7, 2014, Vol. 15, No. 27



* AUSTRIA: Fitch Says Bad Bank, Levy Reform May Benefit Sector


DEVELOPMENT BANK: Fitch Assigns 'B-' IDRs; Outlook Stable


FLEET STREET: S&P Withdraws 'CCC-' Rating on Class D Notes
PANTHERWERKE AG: Files for Insolvency in Bielefeld


GREECE: Fitch Sees Slowdown in Distressed Mortgage Borrowers


ELVERYS SPORTS: High Court Appoints Examiner Ahead of MBO
HARVEST CLO IV: Fitch Affirms 'Bsf' Ratings on Two Note Classes
STARTS IRELAND: Moody's Confirms Ba2 Rating on $50MM Notes


ALITALIA SPA: Air France Still Open to Investment Deal


LIEPAJAS METALURGS: Administrator Plans to Sell Assets


HOLLAND HOMES: Fitch Affirms 'BBsf' Ratings on Two Note Classes


PORTUGAL: Christie's Pulls Auction of Joan Miro Art After Uproar


* SPAIN: Corporate Bankruptcy Filings Up 10.4% in 2013

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

AM PROFILES: In Liquidation, Utopia Tableware Buys Warehouse
ARQIVA BROADCAST: Fitch Assigns 'B-' Rating to 2020 Notes
PUNCH TAVERNS: Bondholders Balk at Financial Restructuring Plan
RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE: S&P Lifts Ratings on 2 Note Classes to BB+


* EUROPE: Fitch Says Credit Investors' EM Risk Fears Grow
* BOOK REVIEW: Jacob Fugger the Rich



* AUSTRIA: Fitch Says Bad Bank, Levy Reform May Benefit Sector
Austrian banks may benefit from bank levy reforms and the
creation of a "bad bank" for the wind-down of Hypo Alpe-Adria-
Bank, to be negotiated this month with the government, Fitch
Ratings says. Reallocation of the levy to part-capitalise the bad
bank and create a new resolution fund could reduce regulatory
cost inflation in the Austrian banking sector.

The government's preferred option for winding down Hypo Alpe,
nationalized in 2009, is to create a bad bank majority owned by
the large Austrian banks with a minority state holding.  The
government's aim is to keep the vehicle's liabilities off
Austria's public debt calculation, similar to Ireland's NAMA and
Spain's SAREB.  The bad bank model's details have not yet been
revealed and need to be finalized.

"We believe reallocation of the bank levy to help facilitate the
creation of a bad bank would be the least worst option and most
likely outcome for the Austrian banks.  The government is highly
unlikely to impose insolvency or use more aggressive "bail-in"
tools because this would threaten systemic stability.  A
restructuring of Hypo Alpe into a state-guaranteed public-law
institution is also unlikely because the government wants the
banks to participate in the solution," Fitch said.

Reform of the Austrian bank levy would benefit the banks.  The
existing levy places a high cost burden on them. At EUR640
million in 2013, it exceeded 20% of the sector's net income and
the one paid by the German banking sector, whose assets are nine
times larger.  The tax is largely used to fill Austria's
recurring budget deficits, with only a small amount earmarked for
financial stability, resulting in limited transparency.

Partially diverting the levy to support the creation of a bad
bank for Hypo Alpe and build up a resolution fund would help
gradually reduce the banking sector's reliance on the state to
deal with future shocks.  "We believe it could also save banks
around EUR150 million costs per year, which they would otherwise
have had to contribute to the new resolution fund starting in
2014 under the European Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive,"
Fitch said.

But banks will probably still have to put another EUR150 million
annually into a deposit protection fund from this year, so
regulatory costs would stay high relative to foreign banks.
Large Austrian banks also pay heavy levies in a number of their
central and eastern European markets, especially Hungary.  A
gradual recovery of earnings would provide further relief from
regulatory cost pressures.

There are still major uncertainties about the wind-down of Hypo
Alpe.  Large Austrian banks want to be compensated for
contributing to a bad bank and protect themselves against its
future deterioration.  Protracted litigation between the
government and Hypo Alpe's former owner could delay the
implementation of a solution.


DEVELOPMENT BANK: Fitch Assigns 'B-' IDRs; Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings has assigned Development Bank of the Republic of
Belarus (DBRB) Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer
Default Ratings (IDR) of 'B-' with Stable Outlook.

Key Rating Drivers

DBRB's ratings are underpinned by a high propensity of support
from the government of the Republic of Belarus, if needed.
However, Fitch's view of the fairly weak credit profile of the
sovereign, and hence its ability to provide assistance, mean that
support cannot be relied upon.

Fitch's view of the high propensity to support is based on the
bank's 95% ownership by the Council of Ministers of the Republic
of Belarus, DBRB's legally defined policy role of lending under
state-directed programs, and its close association with the
Belarusian authorities.  DBRB's Board of Directors is chaired by
the Belarusian Prime Minister and includes high-ranked officials,
and major decisions affecting the bank are taken at governmental
level.  The dominant share of local currency funding (mostly
bonds) in DBRB's liabilities means that the authorities' ability
to provide support should not be heavily dependent on the
sovereign's external finances.

DBRB's loan book is dominated by large and fairly high-risk loans
issued under government program and taken over from other state
banks as part of the government's strategy aimed at consolidating
such loans within DBRB.  Most of these loans were issued at low
rates to state-owned companies (92% of the largest 25 exposures
at DBRB), while the bank gets compensated by the Ministry of
Finance for the interest expense it pays on market-rate funding.

Reported NPLs (overdue over 90 days) and restructured loans at
end-1H13 were high at 12% and 4%, respectively, of gross loans,
but both were fully covered by reserves.  DBRB's portfolio growth
plans will be defined by government directives on new lending
under government program (earmarked at about BYR4 trillion for
2014) and on loan transfers from state banks (BYR1.15 trillion
planned in 2014).

As a development bank DBRB is exempt from regulatory capital
requirements.  The bank's total capital adequacy ratio calculated
in line with statutory requirements was 30% at end-1H13 (22% as
per Basel standards).  This ratio increased further to 38% at
end-2013 following a BUR2.8 trillion capital injection.  The
sizable capital buffers meant that the bank could have reserved
up to half of the loan book at end-2013 before breaching the
internal capital adequacy limit of 10% set by the Board of

DBRB's liquidity is reasonable at present, while refinancing and
foreign currency risks are limited. Liquid assets were moderate
at approximately BYR1.4 trillion or 2% of assets at end-3Q13;
however, DBRB is not allowed to attract customer deposits and its
funding is mainly wholesale borrowings, most of which are long-
term local bonds (82% of liabilities) held by the National Bank
of the Republic of Belarus and state-owned banks.  The remainder
are deposits attracted from the Ministry of Finance. Liabilities
maturing in 2014 represented a moderate BYR670 billion or 3% of
end-3Q13 liabilities.

Rating Sensitivities

The ratings are likely to move in tandem with Fitch's assessment
of the sovereign credit profile.

The rating actions are as follows:

  Long-term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs: assigned at 'B-';
   Outlook Stable
  Short-term Foreign Currency IDR assigned at 'B'
  Support Rating assigned at '5'
  Support Rating Floor assigned at 'B


FLEET STREET: S&P Withdraws 'CCC-' Rating on Class D Notes
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services withdrew its credit ratings on
Fleet Street Finance Two PLC's class B, C, and D notes following
their full redemption.

The withdrawals follow the cash manager's confirmation that all
classes of notes were fully redeemed on the January 2014 interest
payment date.

Fleet Street Finance Two was a German commercial mortgage-backed
securities true-sale transaction that closed in October 2006.  It
was backed by a single loan secured on a Karstadt sale-and-
leaseback portfolio, mostly comprising German department stores.


Class              Rating
            To                From

Fleet Street Finance Two PLC
EUR1.192 Billion Commercial Mortgage-Backed Floating-Rate Notes

Ratings Withdrawn

B           NR                BB (sf)
C           NR                CCC (sf)
D           NR                CCC- (sf)

NR--Not rated.

PANTHERWERKE AG: Files for Insolvency in Bielefeld
Jo Beckendorff at Bike Europe reports that the insolvency court
in Bielefeld, Germany, confirmed Pantherwerke AG filed for
insolvency on February 3, 2014.

According to Bike Europe, Pantherwerke's insolvency case is still
in process at the court which hasn't appointed a receiver yet.

The receiver is to investigate the reasons for the insolvency as
well as the proceedings and is expected to make further
announcements on short notice, Bike Europe says.

For industry insiders, the insolvency didn't come out of the
blue, Bike Europe states.  In November 2013, Pantherwerke AG sold
its Baltik Vairas factory in Lithuania to a Danish investment
group related to Niels Peter Preztmann, a board member of UAB
Baltik Vairas, Bike Europe recounts.

Moreover, currently it is not clear how Pantherwerke's Czech
subsidiary Masterbike SRO is affected by the insolvency,
Bike Europe says.  Further info on that will follow out as soon
as the receiver is appointed and starts the insolvency
proceedings, Bike Europe notes.

Based in Loehne, Germany, Pantherwerke was founded in 1896 and is
one of the largest bike suppliers in Germany.


GREECE: Fitch Sees Slowdown in Distressed Mortgage Borrowers
Fitch Ratings said there has been a slowdown in the number of new
borrowers in the Greek housing market getting into mortgage
distress, although the volume of loans in late stage arrears
continues to increase due to low foreclosure activity.  In 4Q13
the level of loans in arrears more than three months including
defaults reached 10% of current collateral balance compared with
8% in 4Q12.

Two key pieces of legislation were passed in the Greek Parliament
in 4Q13 - Law 4224/2013 and Law 4223/2013.  The former extended
the suspension of property auctions until the end of 2014 but now
takes into account the borrowers' income.

"The majority of the defaulted borrowers remain protected,
despite the fact that the revised foreclosure ban may have a
lower coverage," says Sanja Paic, Director in Fitch's RMBS
Surveillance team.  Fitch expects recoveries to remain stagnant
for the rest of 2014 with the 4Q13 index reporting cumulative
recoveries as a percentage of cumulative net defaults at 2.6%.

Law 4223/2013 consolidated various property ownership taxes and
reduced the property transfer tax.  "The recent changes to
property taxation remove some uncertainties in the minds of
potential purchasers and may support sentiment in the real estate
market, but the macroeconomic backdrop is still putting
overwhelming downwards pressure on values," says Andrew Currie,
Head of EMEA Structured Finance Surveillance at Fitch.

Greek home prices continued to fall as the market remains weak,
with the peak-to-current decline reaching 34.3% in 3Q13.
However, the quarter-on-quarter trend shows that the price falls
have decelerated, decreasing only 0.9% from 2Q13.  The agency
expects a further home price decline of 6% in 2014.

Data collected by Fitch suggests that servicers continue to
actively pursue permitted variations and repurchases in RMBS
transactions.  This was the main reason behind the superior
performance of the RMBS transactions compared with the Bank of
Greece's data on non-performing housing loans for 3Q13 at 25.8%.

Fitch's 'Mortgage Market Index - Greece' is part of the agency's
quarterly series of index reports.  It includes information on
the performance of residential mortgages, predominantly from RMBS
transactions, but also those held on bank balance sheets.  The
report sets the housing market against the macroeconomic
background and provides commentary on the emerging trends.


ELVERYS SPORTS: High Court Appoints Examiner Ahead of MBO
The Irish Times reports that an interim examiner has been
appointed by the High Court to Elverys Sports.

The move on foot of a petition by the National Asset Management
Agency comes as a pre-pack receivership of the company ahead of a
management buy-out unraveled in the last few days, The Irish
Times relays.

According to The Irish Times, Mr. Justice Brian McGovern was told
that the board of the company which owns Elverys Sports, Staunton
Sports, supported the petition for an interim examiner to be

The judge was told that it was not a hostile petition and NAMA is
the company's largest secured creditor with loan facilities due
and owing of EUR23 million and STG250,000, The Irish Times

Moving the petition, Rossa Fanning BL, as cited by The Irish
Times, said there was no doubt Elverys is insolvent but it is
believed the underlying business is viable as a going concern
once the debt issues are dealt with.

Mr. Justice Brian McGovern appointing Simon Coyle of Mazars as
interim examiner initially for the next six days deemed the
circumstances exceptional and set down the hearing of the
petition for February 18th next, The Irish Times relates.

Elverys Sports is a sports store in Ireland.  The company employs
654 people in 56 stores nationwide.

HARVEST CLO IV: Fitch Affirms 'Bsf' Ratings on Two Note Classes
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Harvest CLO IV Plc.'s notes, as

-- EUR402.3 million Class A-1A (ISIN XS0254041493): affirmed at
    'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

-- EUR74.0 million Class A-1B (ISIN XS0254042541): affirmed at
    'AAsf'; Outlook revised to Positive from Stable

-- EUR44.9 million Class A-2 (ISIN XS0254042970): affirmed at
    'AAsf'; Outlook revised to Positive from Stable

-- EUR54.6 million Class B-1 (ISIN XS0254043861): affirmed at
    'Asf'; Outlook Stable

-- EUR4.4 million Class B-2 (ISIN XS0254046963): affirmed at
    'Asf'; Outlook Stable

-- EUR29.0 million Class C (ISIN XS0254048746): affirmed at
    'BBBsf'; Outlook Stable

-- EUR11.1 million Class D-1 (ISIN XS0254050213): affirmed at
    'BBsf'; Outlook Stable

-- EUR8.9 million Class D-2 (ISIN XS0254052771): affirmed at
    'BBsf'; Outlook Stable

-- EUR15.4 million Class E-1 (ISIN XS0254054553): affirmed at
    'Bsf'; Outlook revised to Stable from Negative

-- EUR1.6 million Class E-2 (ISIN XS0254055360): affirmed at
    'Bsf'; Outlook revised to Stable from Negative

Harvest CLO IV Plc. is a securitization of senior secured loans
managed by 3i Debt Management Investments Ltd, which closed in
2006. The final legal maturity is July 2021.

Key Rating Drivers

The affirmation reflects both the sufficient credit enhancement
and the material excess spread that would support all notes in a
high default environment.  The revision of the Outlooks on the
class A-1B and A-2 notes recognizes the potential benefit of
excess spread and the likely increase in credit enhancement over
the next 18-24 months.  This is due to the transaction
deleveraging following the end of the reinvestment period (in
July 2013) and the manager's current inability to reinvest
unscheduled principal proceeds or proceeds from the sale of
credit improved obligations due to the breach of a collateral
quality test and a portfolio profile test.  The revision of the
Outlooks on the class E-1 and E-2 notes is due to the material
reduction in exposure to short-term refinancing risk.

Since the last review in February 2013, the underlying portfolio
has improved slightly with the Fitch weighted average rating
factor falling to 32.99 from 33.24 per the current Fitch rating
factor weights.  This was due to decreased exposure to 'CCC'
rated and below assets (3.9% from 4.1% in December 2012) and
minor positive rating migration of 'B-' rated assets.  In the
same period, the weighted average spread increased to 4.1% from

The weighted average life of the portfolio has increased to 4.75
years from 4.2 years since the last review due to the shift in
the portfolio's maturity profile. The exposure to assets maturing
between 2014-2015 has declined by 79% year on year (to 4.8% of
the outstanding portfolio), substantially reducing the short-term
exposure to refinance risk, while the proportion of the portfolio
maturing after 2017 increased to 67.86% from 31.10%.

The over-collateralization (OC) tests are all passing and have
remained steady during the past year.  The headroom on the most
junior OC test is currently 1.0%, which is considered indicative
of efficient OC covenants.  The transaction's interest diversion
test breached during 2013, which diverted a portion of excess
spread to purchasing new collateral.  This test is not effective
post the reinvestment period.  There has been one new default in
the portfolio since the last review and current defaults
represent 2.3% of the outstanding portfolio balance.

Rating Sensitivities

Fitch ran various rating sensitivity scenarios on the transaction
to assess the impact on the notes' ratings if the key risk
drivers -- default rates and recovery rates -- were stressed.
Increasing the default probability of all the assets in the
portfolio by 25% would likely result in a downgrade of the notes
of between zero and two notches while applying a recovery rate
haircut of 25% on all the assets would likely result in a
downgrade of the notes of between zero and two notches.

STARTS IRELAND: Moody's Confirms Ba2 Rating on $50MM Notes
Moody's Investors Service announced the following rating action
on Starts (Ireland) PLC Series 2007-31:

Issuer: Starts (Ireland) PLC Series 2007-31

Series 2007-31 USD50,000,000 Class A2-D2 AAA/Aaa Rated Floating-
Rate Credit-Linked Notes due 2017, Confirmed at Ba2 (sf);
previously on November 19, 2013 Ba2 (sf) Placed Under Review for
Possible Downgrade

This transaction is a corporate synthetic collateralized debt
obligation (CSO) referencing a portfolio of corporate senior
unsecured bonds, originally rated in 2007.

Ratings Rationale

The actions reflect key changes to Moody's modeling assumptions,
which incorporate 1) removing the 30% macro default probability
stress for corporate credits, 2) lowering the average recovery
rate assumptions for most types of debt, 3) modifying the
modeling framework for corporate asset correlations, 4)
introducing an adverse selection adjustment on default
probabilities where relevant, and 5) simplifying the cheapest-to-
deliver haircut that applies to recoveries. This action concludes
the review of the CSO, announced on 19 November 2013, because of
its update to the CSO methodology.

Although the key changes in modeling assumptions resulted in
lower modeled results, the effect is mitigated by a higher
remaining subordination given the CSO's time to maturity relative
to expectations since the last rating action. The remaining time
to maturity of the transactions is 3.4 years and the attachment
point is 7.35%, based on the trustee's December 2013 report.

The portfolio's ten-year weighted average rating factor (WARF) is
723, excluding settled credit events. Moody's rates the majority
of the reference credits investment grade, with 3.0% rated Caa
(sf) or lower. In addition, the number of reference credits with
a negative outlook is 22, compared to four with a positive
outlook; there are no reference credits on review for downgrade,
compared to one on review for upgrade.

The average gap between MIRs and Moody's senior unsecured ratings
is -0.8 notches for over-concentrated sectors and 1.0 notch for
non-over concentrated sectors. Currently, the over-concentrated
sectors are Banking, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
comprising 36% of the portfolio.

Based on the trustee's December 2013 report, six credit events,
equivalent to 6.4% of the portfolio based on the portfolio's
notional value at closing, have taken place. Since inception, the
subordination of the rated tranche has declined by 2.05% due to
credit events on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, CIT
Group and PMI Group, net of trading gains and losses.

Methodology Underlying the Rating Action

The principal methodology used in this rating was "Moody's
Approach to Rating Corporate Synthetic Collateralized Debt
Obligations" published in November 2013.

Factors that Would Lead to an Upgrade or Downgrade of the Rating

These transactions are subject to a high level of uncertainty,
primarily because of 1) unexpected volatility in the credit and
macroeconomic environment; 2) divergence in the legal
interpretation of documentation by different transactional
parties because of embedded ambiguities; and 3) unexpected
changes in the portfolio composition as a result of the actions
of the transaction parties.

For CSOs, the performance of the credit default swaps can be
affected either positively or negatively by 1) variations over
time in default rates for instruments with a given rating; 2)
variations in recovery rates for instruments with particular
seniority/security characteristics; and 3) uncertainty about the
default and recovery correlations characteristics of the
reference pool. Given the tranched nature of CSO liabilities,
rating transitions in the reference pool can have leveraged
rating implications for the ratings of the CSO liabilities that
could lead to a high degree of rating volatility, which is likely
to be higher for the more junior or thinner liabilities.

In addition to the base case analysis described above, Moody's
also conducted sensitivity analyses, discussed below. Results are
in the form of the difference in the number of notches from the
base case, in which a higher number of notches corresponds to
lower expected losses, and vice-versa.

Moody's ran a scenario in which it reduced the maturity of the
CSO by six months keeping all other things equal. The result of
this run was 0.5 notches higher than in the base case.

Moody's conducted a sensitivity analysis in which the adverse
selection adjustment is removed and MIRS are modeled in place of
the corporate fundamental ratings to derive the default
probability of the reference entities in the portfolio. The
result of this run was 3.0 notches higher than in the base case.

Moody's conducted a stress analysis in which it defaulted all
entities rated Caa or lower. The result was 0.4 notches lower
than in the base case.

In addition to the quantitative factors Moody's models
explicitly, rating committees also consider qualitative factors
in the rating process. These qualitative factors include a
transaction's structural protections, recent deal performance in
the current market environment, the legal environment, specific
documentation features and the portfolio manager's track record.
All information available to rating committees, including
macroeconomic forecasts, input from other Moody's analytical
groups, market factors, and judgments regarding the nature and
severity of credit stress on the transactions, can influence the
final rating decision.


ALITALIA SPA: Air France Still Open to Investment Deal
Michael Stothard at The Financial Times reports that Air France-
KLM is still open to investing more in its struggling Italian
partner Alitalia if restructuring conditions are met, despite the
breakdown of talks last year and the emergence of a potential
Middle Eastern investor.

Chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said in an interview with the
FT that a mooted investment from Abu Dhabi flag carrier Etihad
Airways announced last week could even strengthen their business
case for investing.

Mr. de Juniac, as cited by the FT, said that Air France-KLM would
have to wait for the terms of any deal with Etihad before coming
to a conclusion and that there could be negative aspects as well
to the deal, such as not being "alone in the driving seat".

Mr. de Juniac added that either way the investment in Alitalia by
Etihad would be on friendly terms, and would not hurt the
existing Air France-KLM and Alitalia alliance, the FT relates.

                        About Alitalia

Alitalia-Compagnia Aerea Italiana has navigated its way through
a successful restructuring.  After filing for bankruptcy
protection in 2008, Alitalia found additional investors, acquired
rival airline Air One, and re-emerged as Italy's leading airline
in early 2009.  Operating a fleet of about 150 aircraft, the
airline now serves more than 75 national and international
destinations from hubs in Fiumicino (Rome), Milan, Turin, Venice,
Naples, and Catania.  Alitalia extends its network as a member of
the SkyTeam code-sharing and marketing alliance, which also
includes Air France, Delta Air Lines, and KLM.  An Italian
investor group owns a majority of the company, while Air France-
KLM owns 25%.


LIEPAJAS METALURGS: Administrator Plans to Sell Assets
The Baltic Times, citing, reports that Haralds Velmers,
insolvency administrator for bankrupt metallurgical company
Liepajas metalurgs, is planning to sell the company's casting and
forging facilities, technical equipment, real estate and movable
property necessary for the company's operations, which will be
offered to qualified buyers internationally so as to raise as
much money as possible from the deal.

According to the latest assessment of the company, selling the
property that has not been pledged as security may raise
EUR3.5 million without the need to organize an auction, plus
EUR1 million that will be raised by selling assets at auction,
The Baltic Times says.

In selling the other assets, which the company has set up as
security for various loans, it is hoped to raise EUR112.3
million, Mr. Velmers, as cited by The Baltic Times, adding that
these projections may be revised during the sales process and
based on offers received from prospective buyers.

On Jan. 20, Mr. Velmers presented Liepajas metalurgs shareholders
with the company sales plan, The Baltic Times relates.

Mr. Velmers will be able to begin selling the company assets only
if the creditors approve the plan, with a decision expected this
month, The Baltic Times discloses.  If the plan is not accepted
by the creditors, Mr. Velmers will have to alter it, The Baltic
Times says.

According to The Baltic Times, Mr. Velmers notes that his
proposal will make it possible to better assess prospective
buyers, which is not always possible if an auction is organized.

Liepajas Metalurgs is a Latvian metallurgical company.

Liepaja Court commenced Liepajas metalurgs' insolvency process on
Nov. 12 last year.  Haralds Velmers was appointed insolvency
administrator.  Over 1,500 Liepajas metalurgs workers have been
laid off so far.  Liepajas metalurgs halted production last


HOLLAND HOMES: Fitch Affirms 'BBsf' Ratings on Two Note Classes
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Holland Homes Oranje MBS B.V. (HoHo I)
and Stichting Holland Homes Oranje II (HoHo II).

Both transactions comprise 100% NHG-backed mortgage loans
originated by DBV Levensverzekeringsmaatschappij N.V. (DBV Leven,
not rated) and DBV Finance.  In November 2009, DBV Leven merged
with SRLEV N.V. (SRLEV, BBB+/Stable).  Subsequently in March
2011, DBV Finance merged with SNS Bank N.V. (SNS Bank,
BBB+/Stable/F2) and DBV Finance ceased to exist as a separate
entity. SRLEV and SNS Bank are both 100% direct subsidiaries of
the SNS Reaal Group N.V. (BBB+/Stable/F2).  The issuers have
appointed Stater Nederland (RPS1-) as the sub-servicer in both


Stable Performance

The affirmation reflects the stable performance of the underlying
assets in both transactions.  To date, both HoHo I and HoHo II
have reported stable arrears levels, with borrowers in arrears by
more than three months at only 0.16% and 0.21% of the current
collateral balance, respectively.  Cumulative losses remained
below 3bps of the initial collateral balance in both
transactions. Fitch expects performance to remain stable based on
the high weighted average seasoning (88-111 months) and good
debt-to-income ratio (both around 24%-25%) of the loans in the

Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (NHG) Loans
The portfolios comprise 100% NHG loans.  Fitch did not apply a
reduction in base foreclosure frequency for the NHG loans, as the
originator did not provide any historical data to provide
evidence of the difference between the performance of NHG and
non-NHG loans on DBV's loan book.

Fitch also used claim data which DBV/SNS Bank submitted to
Stichting Waarborgfonds Eigen Wonigen (WEW, AAA/Negative/F1+)
between 2006 and 2012 to determine the compliance ratio on
defaulted loans, which was in line with the market average.
However, it was slightly lower than when both transactions were
restructured in March 2012.  In its analysis of the transactions,
Fitch gave credit to the repurchase commitment from Rabobank
International (Rabobank, AA-/Negative/F1+) by applying a 100%
compliance ratio in the rating scenarios up to and including
'BBB+sf'. Given the current ratings of the mezzanine and junior
notes, the change in compliance ratio had no impact on the notes'
ratings, as the credit support available to the senior notes was
deemed sufficient to withstand the revised stresses.

Losses on Class B Notes' Principal Deficiency Ledger (PDL)
The structure of HoHo I includes an interest rate swap which
provides guaranteed excess spread of 25bp of the outstanding
notes balance per annum. The swap in HoHo II provides no
guaranteed margins.

HoHo II's non-rated class B notes act as the first loss piece and
are therefore expected to see losses allocated in instances where
such losses are not fully covered by the NHG guarantee scheme and
Rabobank's repurchase commitment.

The January 2014 investor reports showed that losses allocated to
the class B PDL are less than EUR0.4 million (around 12% of the
notes' notional amount). Although realised losses to date remain
low, Fitch believes that the current sluggish economic
environment may lead to larger losses on properties sold, which
may not be fully covered by the NHG. This is reflected in the
revision of the Outlook on the class S notes to Negative from


Deterioration in asset performance may result from economic
factors, in particular the increasing effect of unemployment.
Home price declines beyond Fitch's peak to trough expectations of
25% could have a negative effect on the junior notes' ratings as
this would limit recoveries and put additional stress on
portfolio cash flows.

Information on the insurance providers was available on a loan-
by-loan basis and DBV (i.e. SRLEV since the merger) is the policy
provider for nearly 100% of the insurance mortgage loans in the
mortgage portfolios.  In its analysis, Fitch assumed 100% of set-
off likelihood should SRLEV fail.  The default assumption for
SRLEV is based on SRLEV's rating and a 100% default rate has been
assumed in all rating scenarios above 'BBB+sf'.  Notes rated
'BBB+sf' or below are therefore linked to, or capped at SRLEV's
rating. These tranches will also remain sensitive to the NHG
loans' compliance ratio due to the low level of credit

The rating actions are as follows:

Holland Homes Oranje MBS B.V.

Class A (ISIN XS0238851827): affirmed at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable
Class S (ISIN XS0729849439): affirmed at 'BBB+sf'; Outlook
Class B (ISIN XS0238855141): affirmed at 'BBsf'; Outlook Stable

Stichting Holland Homes Oranje II

Class A (ISIN XS0311660392): affirmed at 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable
Class S (ISIN XS0728217422): affirmed at 'BBsf'; Outlook Revised
  to Negative from Stable


PORTUGAL: Christie's Pulls Auction of Joan Miro Art After Uproar
Mary M. Lane and Patricia Kowsmann, writing for The Wall Street
Journal, reported that Christie's has withdrawn 85 artworks by
Spanish surrealist Joan Miro from its auctions in London this
week, after an uproar in Portugal over the government's move to
sell the works in an attempt to cut its debt.

According to the report, the decision, announced on Feb. 4 just
hours before the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist evening
sale, represents a blow to Portugal's coffers -- as well as an
embarrassment for one of the world's largest auction houses
during the most important time of year for the London art market.

While the planned auction would shave off only a tiny fraction of
Portugal's more than EUR200 billion in debt, the flap surrounding
it underscores the challenges Europe's most fragile economies
continue to face in curing debt hangovers, the report said.

Southern European countries have for the past two years slashed
spending and raised taxes to lower their budget deficits and ease
fears of debt defaults, the report related.  Austerity drives
that have cut social benefits have proven immensely unpopular, as
have efforts to shed cultural assets, such as Greece's bid to
sell islands, palaces and other icons. In the U.S., a similar
outcry has erupted in Detroit as the bankrupt city sought a
valuation on a collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

In Portugal, many have seen the government's move as
disrespectful toward its art heritage, particularly because
revenue from the sale would have been insignificant, the report
further related.  A government official on Tuesday said that
Portugal needed the money to balance its finances and would have
to find it somewhere, if not from the sale.


* SPAIN: Corporate Bankruptcy Filings Up 10.4% in 2013
Business Recorder reports that bankruptcy filings soared to a
record high in Spain in 2013, official data showed Thursday, with
the construction industry in particular still reeling five years
after a property market crash.

The number of household and business bankruptcy filings leapt by
6.5% to 9,660, the National Statistics Institute said, as the
economy emerged from a long recession, Business Recorder relates.

In a sign that the business sector's decline may be steadying,
however, bankruptcy filings rose at a slower pace last year when
compared to a 15.1% increase in 2011 and a 32.2% surge in 2012,
Business Recorder relays.

But the number of bankruptcy filings remains at historically high
levels, Business Recorder says.  In 2007, for example, there were
only 1,147 bankruptcy filings overall, Business Recorder notes.

According to Business Recorder, in 2013, businesses suffered more
than individuals, the data showed, with bankruptcy filings by
companies surging 10.4% to 8,934 while those by households
dropped by 25.6% to 726.

The building industry suffered most, representing 26.6% of all
corporate bankruptcy filings, Business Recorder discloses.

Though bankruptcy proceedings aim to enable debt-laden businesses
to restructure and emerge as viable enterprises, in Spain 94
percent of filings end in liquidation, Business Recorder says,
citing brokerage Axesor.

The Spanish small business federation ATA estimates that nearly
half a million small businesses have gone under since the start
of the financial crisis, Business Recorder states.

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

AM PROFILES: In Liquidation, Utopia Tableware Buys Warehouse
Derby Telegraph reports that Utopia Tableware, a Derby commercial
property specialist, has helped to secure the sale of a warehouse
in north Derbyshire after its previous owner AM Profiles went
into liquidation.

Utopia Tableware has taken over the 53,000 sq ft. unit at
Holmewood Industrial Estate, Chesterfield, according to Derby

The property was jointly marketed by BNP Paribas Real Estate and
Derby's Salloway Property Consultants.

"The sale to Utopia means the creation and retention of jobs,
which is great news for the local economy," the report quoted
Salloway Managing Director Steve Salloway as saying.

ARQIVA BROADCAST: Fitch Assigns 'B-' Rating to 2020 Notes
Fitch Ratings has assigned Arqiva Financing plc's GBP164 million
fixed rate Series 2014-1 notes a 'BBB' rating with Stable
Outlook, in line with Arqiva Financing plc's existing notes.

With the issuance proceeds, Arqiva has refinanced GBP162.5
million of Finco term loan A, leaving GBP57.5 million of the term
loan outstanding.  An index-linked swap (ILS) overlay has also
been put over the existing (super senior) ILS to switch the six-
month LIBOR payment back to a fixed rate payment, in line with
the fixed rate Series 2014-1 notes.

Key Rating Drivers

The ratings reflect Arqiva's continued solid operating
performance to date, with EBITDA over the past five years growing
at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% with FY13
(financial year ending June 2013) EBITDA reaching GBP416.6
million (and growing year-on-year by 3.8%).  The EBITDA margin
has also continuously improved to 50.8% from 37.9% between FY08
and FY13.

The ratings also reflect Arqiva's gain of new long-term secured
contracts, notably with smart metering until 2028 (with potential
for renewal) and two new HD TV muxes (group of broadcast
channels) until at least December 2018 (bringing the current
total of digital terrestrial television (DTT) muxes licensed to
Arqiva to four out of eight), and lower operating costs than
previously assumed in Fitch's base case with a reduced muxes
licensing cost, namely administrative incentive pricing (AIP),
down to minimal levels of approximately GBP400,000 per annum
until 2020 and on average by 50% to around GBP20 million per
annum thereafter.

Arqiva recently also refinanced GBP180 million of Finco term loan
A on January 17, 2014 with the issuance of a private
institutional term loan (ITL), which ranks pari-passu with the
secured Finco/senior borrower loans and the WBS issuer/senior
borrower loans. Fitch expects the remaining Finco term loan A
(GBP57.5 million) to be refinanced prior to June 2014, which
corresponds to the loan's trigger date for a 50% cash sweep.

In September 2013, Arqiva signed a 15-year GBP625 million
contract (with a renewal option for another five years) to
provide the smart metering (remote reading of meters) for the
northern region (one of three designated UK regions).  Arqiva
will develop, manage and roll out the network to about 9 million
Comms Hubs across homes and small businesses.  The contract is
owned by a subsidiary of Arqiva, which is ring-fenced from the
securitised WBS group. However, the latter is expected to capture
over 80% of the revenues with the subsidiary effectively having
back-to-back servicing agreements with the WBS group and a
guarantee from the Holdco (Arqiva Broadcast Holdings Ltd).  The
Comms Hubs are financed separately through another vehicle, which
is also ring-fenced from the WBS group.

Fitch's analysis included assessing how quickly the transaction's
debt levels reduce to compensate mid- to long-term revenue risks.
These could arise, for example, from potential funding issues
(e.g. with cuts from both public and private customers of DTT or
radio broadcasting networks) or/and threats from alternative
technology (such as IPTV), for instance, lowering the demand for
DTT viewing, with key stress points culminating at the contracts'
renewals.  Fitch's base case factors in these risks and assumes
some stresses in satellite and radio revenues in the medium term
with low single digit growth, and below inflation increases in
revenues for both the digital platform and wireless towers
divisions (with nominal stresses at renewal of key contracts).

Based on Fitch's base case (which considers Arqiva's new business
developments and no refinancing of the remaining term loans), the
relatively rapid deleveraging profile continues to bring some
comfort despite being slightly slower than previously.  This is
compensated to a large extent by the recent long-term business
contracts that have been signed.  The longer-dated ITL and
proposed Series 2014-1 notes, with expected maturities in
December 2023 and June 2030, respectively (vs. February 2016 for
Finco term loan A), and full cash sweep thereafter until final
maturity dates in February 2038 and December 2037, respectively,
still allows senior net debt to EBITDA leverage to reduce from a
maximum of 6.0x in FY14 to low levels of around 0.6x between FY27
and FY30 (vs. 0.2x previously).  This deleveraging profile is
largely driven by the cash sweep amortization features of both
the remaining approximately GBP843.5 million Finco term loans and
the GBP350 million Series 2013-1a notes, and the heavy
amortization schedule of the GBP398.5 million Series 1 and 2

The junior debt leverage is in line with Fitch's last review, and
therefore still commensurate with a 'B-' rating, reducing under
Fitch's base case (assuming a generic refinancing scenario) from
7.3x in FY14 to below 6.7x in 2020 (at maturity of the HY notes),
only marginally mitigating refinancing risk.  The junior debt
remains therefore highly speculative as it is also deeply
subordinated and exposed to dividends pay-out disruptions from
the WBS group (which could trigger their default).

Fitch's synthetic base case debt service coverage ratios for the
senior bonds are at around 1.5x for the next 15 years and 1.7x
for the next 20 years.  Given the expected deleveraging and
comfort from the short- to medium-term cash flow generation,
these levels are deemed adequate.  However, lower ratios could be
viewed negatively given the higher (long-term) obsolescence risk
of Arqiva's underlying technology compared with other WBS
transactions with the same rating.

The transaction continues to benefit from strong structural
features, especially for the senior debt, including a solid
security package, a full suite of performance-related cash lock-
up triggers, and untypical cash sweep mechanisms (notably for the
Finco term loans, the Series 2013-1a and 2014-1 notes, and the
ITL, which are features not usually seen in UK WBS transactions
with the exception of CPUK Finance Ltd).  The transaction's
structure also differs from typical WBS transactions in that the
debt-issuing vehicles are not orphan SPVs.  However, given
structural protections in the transaction's legal documentation,
the potential conflicts of interest (due to the non-orphan status
of the SPVs and their directors also being directors of other
group companies) are deemed remote and consistent with the notes'

Rating Sensitivities

An unforeseen change in regulation (by Ofcom) with regard to any
changes in its pricing formulas (for DTT or radio broadcasting),
licensing costs (e.g. AIP) or even spectrum allocations could hit
Arqiva's future cash flow and impact the ratings.  In addition,
the risk of alternative and emerging technologies (such as IPTV)
could threaten Arqiva's revenues either through technology
obsolescence risk and/or lower ad-pool available to linear TV
content providers.  This risk is currently mitigated by
potentially the fast deleveraging of the transaction (assuming
cash sweep amortization) and the long-term contracts securing
significant revenues.

Summary of Credit

The transactions are the refinancing of senior and junior bank
debt of Arqiva Financing No.1 and No. 2 Limited through the
issuances of GBP1,313 million of WBS notes, GBP180 million of
institutional term loan (ITL), plus GBP843 million of Finco term
loans (the underlying WBS issuer/senior borrower loans ranking
pari-passu with the underlying secured Finco/senior borrower
loans and the ITL), and GBP600 million of structurally
subordinated HY notes. The remaining Finco term loans are
expected to be refinanced under the WBS program.

Arqiva's operations consist of its ownership of UK's terrestrial
TV & radio broadcasting infrastructure, wireless towers and
satellite transmission services.  Arqiva benefits from typically
secured long-term contracts with customers of mainly strong
credit profile, and high barriers to entry with monopolistic
positions in key communications infrastructure segments notably
in UK DTT and radio broadcasting, all under the regulation of UK-
based Ofcom, and a dominant position in the wireless towers
sector with 25% market share.

Arqiva's ratings are as follows:

Arqiva Financing plc (whole business securitization (WBS)

-- GBP164 million 5.340% Series 2014-1 notes (WBS) due 2037:
    assigned 'BBB', Stable Outlook

-- GBP350 million 4.040% Series 2013-1a notes (WBS) due 2035:
    'BBB'; Stable Outlook

-- GBP400 million 4.882% Series 2013-1b notes (WBS) due 2032:
    'BBB'; Stable Outlook

Arqiva PP Financing plc (WBS issuer - US Private Placement

-- USD358 million (GBP235.5m equivalent) Series 1 guaranteed
    secured senior notes (WBS) due 2025: 'BBB'; Stable Outlook

-- GBP163 million Series 2 guaranteed secured senior notes (WBS)
    due 2025: 'BBB'; Stable Outlook

Arqiva Broadcast Finance plc (High Yield (HY) issuer):
GBP600 million 9.500% senior notes (HY) due 2020: 'B-'; Stable

PUNCH TAVERNS: Bondholders Balk at Financial Restructuring Plan
Nathalie Thomas at The Telegraph reports that hopes that
Punch Taverns might finally be able to put its debt woes behind
it appeared to be dashed on Wednesday as lenders to the pubs
group dismissed a financial restructuring plan as "unsignable"
and "flawed".

Bondholders reacted angrily to a last minute plea by Stephen
Billingham, the executive chairman of Punch Taverns, to back a
deal to restructure the group's GBP2.3 billion debt pile, which
will be put to the vote next Friday, The Telegraph relates.

Punch, which is the second biggest pub landlord in the UK with
some 4,000 properties, last month published a final proposal to
solve the group's complex debt problems, The Telegraph recounts.
However the plan, which followed 14 months of negotiations, has
failed to pass muster with several groups of lenders, who have a
blocking vote, The Telegraph notes.

Mr. Billingham told The Telegraph on Tuesday night that there
would be no more changes to the deal before next week's vote and
failure to secure a deal would lead to at least five more years
of "mess" and "uncertainty".

However, bondholders appear to be standing firm in their refusal
to back the deal, The Telegraph states.

According to The Telegraph, a source close to bondholders said on
Wednesday: "The deal on the table fails on three counts, the
commercial terms are unacceptable to multiple groups of lenders,
the structure of the new notes is flawed, and the documentation
is unsignable."

Several bondholders claim the deal, which would reduce net debt
from GBP2.3 billion to GBP1.8 billion, has been structured to the
advantage of shareholders and will still leave the company
heavily in debt, The Telegraph discloses.

Creditors believe some of the debt should be turned into equity
but claim shareholders are thwarting the process as they are not
prepared to have their holdings diluted, The Telegraph says.

Hedge fund investors Angelo Gordon, Oaktree Capital Management
and Warwick Capital Partners have also come out publicly against
the proposals on the table, The Telegraph relays.

Mr. Billingham and Punch's finance director Steve Dando are this
week holding last ditch talks with bondholders in an effort to
secure backing for the proposal ahead of next week's vote, The
Telegraph relates.

Mr. Billingham, as cited by The Telegraph, said failure to secure
agreement from creditors will likely lead to an administrative
receiver being appointed to one or both of the complex vehicles
in which Punch's debt is contained.

The Telegraph notes that although Punch would continue to
operate, Mr. Billingham claims staff and tenants would
potentially be stuck in limbo for years as an administrative
receiver would face the same challenge of negotiating with the
same bondholders who have so far failed to reach agreement.

Several of the dominant shareholders also hold junior debt and
have blocking votes, The Telegraph states.

Punch Taverns plc is a United Kingdom-based pub company.  The
Company is engaged in the operation of public houses under either
the leased model or as directly managed by the Company.  The
Company operates in two business segments: punch partnerships, a
leased estate and punch pub company, a managed estate.

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE: S&P Lifts Ratings on 2 Note Classes to BB+
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its credit ratings on
Residential Mortgage Securities 21 PLC's class A3a, A3c, M1a,
M1c, M2a, M2c, B1a, and B1c notes.  At the same time, S&P has
affirmed its rating on the class B2a notes.

The rating actions follow S&P's review of the transaction's
performance based on the most recent information that S&P has
received from the October 2013 investor report.

Delinquencies of more than 90 days have declined to 23.45% from
31.42% since S&P's previous review.  Capitalized arrears have
remained stable over the same period.

S&P adjusted our weighted-average foreclosure frequency (WAFF) to
address capitalized arrears risk, increasing the arrears amount
by the capitalized arrears amount for each loan in the pool.
S&P's WAFF and weighted-average loss severity (WALS) assumptions
have decreased since its June 2012 review.  S&P's WAFF
assumptions decreased due to the delinquency decrease and the
increased seasoning.  S&P's WALS assumptions decreased as a
result of increasing house prices, which has resulted in a
decrease in S&P's weighted-average indexed current loan-to-value

Rating  WAFF      WALS
Level     (%)      (%)

AAA    64.25     32.70
AA     59.72     27.67
A      52.05     19.00
BBB    46.79     14.25
BB     40.30     11.03

The reserve fund (which has a GBP12.15 million balance and
provides 6.35% credit enhancement) and liquidity facility are at
their required levels.  The transaction is currently paying
principal sequentially and the credit enhancement available to
all classes of notes has increased since S&P's last review.  In
S&P's cash flow analysis it considered the scenario where the
transaction continues to amortize sequentially and, subject to
satisfaction of the pro rata conditions, switches to pay
principal pro rata.

Barclays Bank PLC is the transaction's bank account, liquidity
facility, and guaranteed investment contract (GIC) provider.  In
February 2013, the bank agreement, cash/bond administrator
agreement, liquidity facility agreement, and GIC agreement were
amended to be in line with S&P's current counterparty criteria.
The transaction is therefore no longer capped at S&P's long-term
issuer credit rating (ICR) on Barclays Bank, but is still capped
at S&P's long-term rating ICR on Swiss Re Financial Products
Corp. plus one notch, acting as currency and basis swap provider.

Following S&P's credit and cash flow analysis, it has raised its
ratings on the class A3a, A3c, M1a, M1c, M2a, M2c, B1a, and B1c

S&P considers the available credit enhancement for the class B2a
notes to be commensurate with our currently assigned 'B- (sf)'
rating.  Furthermore, S&P do not expect this class of notes to
experience interest shortfalls in the next 12 to 18 months.  S&P
has therefore affirmed its rating on this class of notes.

Residential Mortgage Securities 21 is backed by U.K.
nonconforming residential mortgages originated by Kensington
Mortgage Co. Ltd.


Class            Rating
          To                 From

Residential Mortgage Securities 21 PLC
EUR618.5 Million, GBP309.9 Million, $300 Million Mortgage-Backed

Ratings Raised

A3a       AA (sf)            A+ (sf)
A3c       AA (sf)            A+ (sf)
M1a       AA (sf)            A+ (sf)
M1c       AA (sf)            A+ (sf)
M2a       A+ (sf)            A (sf)
M2c       A+ (sf)            A (sf)
B1a       BB+ (sf)           BB (sf)
B1c       BB+ (sf)           BB (sf)

Rating Affirmed

B2a       B- (sf)


* EUROPE: Fitch Says Credit Investors' EM Risk Fears Grow
Emerging markets have overtaken eurozone sovereign debt problems
and central bank stimulus withdrawal as the biggest threat to
European credit markets, according to European credit investors
in Fitch Ratings' latest quarterly survey.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents to our 1Q14 survey thought
adverse developments in one or more emerging markets would pose a
high risk to European credit markets over the next 12 months.
That is a notable increase on the 51% who identified EMs as a
high risk in the previous two surveys.  Forty percent of
investors think EM corporates will face the greatest refinancing
challenge over the next 12 months, up from 26% in 3Q13.

Just 39% of respondents thought eurozone sovereign debt problems
were a high risk to European credit markets, down from 57% in our
October survey.  Half considered central bank tightening a high
risk, down from 56% previously.

EM concerns drove further market volatility during our January
survey period, as country-specific factors such as political
risk, weaker economic data and concerns about the robustness of
policy frameworks continued to overlap with broader worries about
capital flows out of emerging markets due to Fed tapering.

Several EM currencies including the Turkish lira, South African
rand, Russian rouble and Hungarian forint fell by more than 5%
against the dollar.  The Argentinean peso fell by nearly 19% as
the authorities stopped using FX reserves to support the

A precise relationship between Fed tapering and international
capital flows is hard to quantify, but as long as financial
market participants believe tapering can cause EM outflows,
adjustments in currency, equity, and bond markets are likely.
The Fed cut its monthly bond purchases by another USD10 billion,
in line with the rate of tapering it announced last year.  "In
our view, the winding down of quantitative easing confirms that
monetary policy is normalizing.  EMs will therefore face changes
in the quantity and (equally importantly) the price of capital
available," Fitch said.

"We think EM sovereign credit fundamentals are generally stronger
than in previous crises, and credible, coherent economic policy
management can support sovereign credit profiles in the face of
further market adjustments. Recent exchange rate pressure has
centered on countries with large current account deficits, but
this may be too narrow a focus.  Adding external amortization and
short-term debt gives a full picture of external funding needs
and therefore vulnerability to investor sentiment.  For example,
India has a larger current account deficit than Turkey, but
Turkey has more external amortization and short-term debt coming
due in 2014. Its gross external financing requirement is
therefore higher," Fitch said.

Fitch's 1Q14 survey closed on January 31.  It represents the
views of managers of an estimated EUR5.9 trillion of fixed-income

* BOOK REVIEW: Jacob Fugger the Rich
Author: Jacob Streider
Publisher: Beard Books
Hardcover: 227 pages
List Price: $34.95
Review by Gail Owens Hoelscher
Buy a copy for yourself and one for a colleague on-line at

Quick, can you work out how much $75 million in sixteenth
century dollars would be worth today? Well, move over Croesus,
Gates, Rockefeller, and Getty, because that's what Jacob Fugger
was worth.

Jacob Fugger was the chief embodiment of early German
capitalistic enterprise and rose to a great position of power in
European economic life. Jacob Fugger the Rich is more than just
a fascinating biography of a powerful and successful
businessman, however. It is an economic history of a golden age
in German commercial history that began in the fifteenth
century. When the book was first published, in 1931, The Boston
Transcript said that the author "has not tried to make an
exhaustive biography of his subject but rather has aimed to let
the story of Jacob Fugger the Rich illustrate the early
sixteenth century development of economic history in which he
was a leader."

Jacob Fugger's family was one of the foremost family in Augsburg
when he was born in 1459. They got their start by importing raw
cotton, by mule, from Mediterranean ports. They later moved into
silk and herbs and, for a long while, controlled much of
Europe's pepper market.

Jacob Fugger diversified into copper mining in Hungary and
transported the product to English Channel and North Sea ports
in his own ships. A stroke of luck led to increased mining
opportunities. Fugger lent money to the Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I to help fund a war with France and Italy. Mining
concessions were put up as collateral. The war dragged on, the
Emperor defaulted, and Fugger found himself with a European
monopoly on copper.

Fugger used his extensive business network in service of the
Pope. His branches all over Europe collected payments due the
Vatican and issued letters of credit that were taken to Rome by
papal agents. Fugger is credited with creating the first
business newsletter. He collected news of evolving business
climate as well as current events from his agents all across
Europe and distributed them to all his branches.

Fugger's endeavors wee not universally applauded. The sin of
usury was still hotly debated, and Fugger committed it
wholesale. He was sued over his monopoly on copper. He was
involved in some messy bribes in bringing Charles V to the
throne. And, his lucrative role as banker in the sale of
indulgences, those chits that absolve the buyer of sin, raised
the ire of Martin Luther himself. Luther referred to Fugger
specifically in his Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the
German nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate just
before being excommunicated in 1521. Fugger went on, however, to
fund Charles V's war on Protestanism and became even richer.
Fugger built many churches and buildings in Augsburg. He was
generous to the poor and designed the world's first housing
project. These buildings and lovely gardens, called the
Fuggerei, are still in use today.

A New York Times reviewer said that Jacob Fugger the Rich, a
book "concerned with the most famous, most capable, and most
interesting of all [the members of the Fugger family] will be as
interesting for the general reader as for the special student of
business history." This observation is just as true today as in
1931, when first made.

Jacob Streider was a professor of economic history at the
University of Munich.


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.

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book
of interest to troubled company professionals.  All titles are
available at your local bookstore or through  Go to order any title today.


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., Washington, D.C., USA.
Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T. Fernandez,
Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A. Chapman,

Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Europe subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at

                 * * * End of Transmission * * *