Bail-ins can no longer be said to be limited to just Cyprus now as on Nov. 15, a major Eurozone country just facilitated the confiscation and subsequent haircut of bond holders owning the bank's subordinated debt.
Italy's albatross, and the world's oldest operating bank which goes back to the days before the discovery of the New World, was finally forced to capitulate to stave off insolvency by cutting staff and conducting a bail-in of certain bond-holders of the bank's debt.
Ever since the bank failed the ECB's latest stress test this summer, when it was advised that it needs to raise billions in capital, only to see the process fizzle with virtually no willing sources of new cash emerging due to the opaque labyrinth of the bank's bilions on NPLs, Italy's third largest, most insolvent, bank has been hoping to avoid a debt conversion, out of fears it may spook retail bondholders across the capital structure, and in other Italian banks, who may perceive the move even if touted as "voluntary" as a creditor bail-in. Which it technically is.
Earlier today, the bank's board bet on Monday to set the terms for a bond-to-equity conversion that is part of the lender's capital boosting plans. As part of its sweeping restructuring, Monte Paschi was planning to lay off a tenth of its staff, shut branches and sell assets to win investor backing for a 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) cash call, its third recapitalisation in as many years. The key part, however, due to the lack of new investor interest was the previously leaked voluntary conversion of its subordinated debt, whose successful execution would limit the amount of new funds needed.
So while we wait to learn if Monte Paschi will be successful in raising the critical outside cash, here is what Monte Paschi's bail-in, pardon debt conversion will look like, according to sources including Ansa, Bloomberg and Reuters:
- Monte Paschi approves voluntary debt-to-equity swap offer
- Offer to target subordinated bonds for total outstanding amount of 4.289 billion euros; will offer between 20-100 percent of nominal value in bond swap offer
- Holders of ~€4.5 billion of subordinated bonds will be able to convert them to shares
- Bank is also considering possibility of launching conversion into equity of 1 billion euros of Fresh 2008 bonds
- Senior bonds not included in the voluntary conversion plan
- The bank is also considering conversion plan for EU1b of hybrid bonds
- The conversion price is seen at 85% of nominal value for riskier Tier 1 bonds, according to Ansa sources.
- The Conversion price is seen at 100% of nominal value for less risky Tier 2 bonds
- Monte Paschi will acquire €700m of MPS Capital Trust II securities, also Tier 1, at 20%
Offer open to investors classified as “qualified investors” only for Upper Tier 2 securities - Zerohedge
- It will also acquire seven series of BMPS subordinated debt at 100%
When you take into account what occurred late last week in India, where their government abruptly eliminated higher denomination bills to attempt to force their citizens to keep their money solely in a bank, and couple this with the instability of banks all across Europe, the world is once again teetering on the potential of another credit crisis, only this time it will be your money that is used to bail them out unless you learned the lessons of 2008 and have your wealth stored in something much more tangible.