Greece’s NBG concludes securitization of business loans

National Bank of Greece said on Monday it had concluded the securitization of business loans which would allow it to raise up to 300 million euros in medium-term funding.

NBG said it would place the senior notes with the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

It was the first securitization transaction since 2007, National said.

It said the transaction sought to enhance the access of Greek small to medium-sized businesses to affordable financing.

Additionally, NBG said it would launch new lending for investment projects in Greece in November, covering a two-year period in which more than 2,000 small to medium-sized businesses and mid-caps stood to benefit.

[Reuters]

5 tips to rebound from a foreclosure or short sale

Philip and Denise Powell lost their home in 2011 after Philip’s hours as a pastor were cut in half and Denise was sidelined by a surgery. But they were determined to become homeowners again, so they rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

The Highland, California, couple got financial counseling. They took control of their credit reports, tackled high-interest debts and cut spending. In 2015, they bought another home.

“We thought we’d never recover,” Philip Powell says, recalling the devastation they felt after losing their home. “No one in California was ready for the crash; it hit us hard.”

Their story is typical of the more than 9.3 million homeowners who lost a home through a distressed property sale from 2006 through 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors.

As rents rise, low mortgage rates persist and the economy gradually improves, some who lost their home in recent years will be able to re-enter the housing market. A 2015 study by the NAR found that 1.5 million previous homeowners might be eligible to buy within the next five years, based on the time it takes to boost credit scores and save for a down payment, as well as mandatory wait times to buy another house.

For those looking to put down homeownership roots once more, here are five tips:

Know your options

You no longer have to wait seven years after a bankruptcy or foreclosure to buy another home, says Ray Carlisle, president of the national nonprofit NID Housing Counseling Agency. For homeowners who had extenuating circumstances such as prolonged income loss or major medical expenses, Fannie Mae has shortened its waiting periods to two years after a pre-foreclosure sale — a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure — and to three years after a foreclosure. That’s down from the standard waiting periods of four and seven years, respectively.

To get a Federal Housing Administration loan after a foreclosure, the standard wait time is now three years — and as little as one year with extenuating circumstances, says April Brown, a spokeswoman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Change bad money habits

Focus on paying down debt, creating a solid savings strategy and avoiding new splurge purchases. Saving for a down payment and closing costs is one of the biggest hurdles that homebuyers face. Start socking away bonuses, windfalls, tax refunds and other extra cash in a savings account. Setting up automatic deposits to your savings account is another way to grow your down payment reserves, and it removes the temptation to spend money unnecessarily.

Repair your credit

The FHA’s minimum credit score requirement for maximum financing is 580. Some lenders offer loans at that minimum, Carlisle says, but other mortgage lenders require a FICO score of 640 or higher. Paying off high-interest debt on time each month and not taking out new loans or running up your credit cards will help build your credit score. Also, ask your utility providers or landlord to report your on-time monthly payments to the major credit bureaus to have those count on your credit report, too.

Avoid predatory lenders

If you encounter lenders that try to seduce you with “special” zero-down home loans or real estate agents who recommend rosy rent-to-own or land contract agreements, run the other way. Carlisle says that 80 percent of NID’s clients are minorities who are disproportionately targeted by predatory lenders. Never sign any contract you’re unsure of, and have a housing counselor, real estate attorney or different lender look it over to get a second opinion.

Seek help from the pros

Not only can housing counselors help you address credit issues and set up a savings plan, they can connect you with state, local and private resources that can ease your path to homeownership, Brown says.

If you’re looking to buy again, reach out to a HUD-approved housing counselor before you begin. Also, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling provides help to more than 3 million people each year. Find an NFCC-certified housing counselor to discuss your options.

HUD approved housing counselors: hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

NFCC Certified housing counselors: nfcc.org/our-services/housing-counseling/

Big Mistake: Waiting for “The Big One” to Start Planning Wealth Accumulation

Trial Lawyer Myth:
“I have to get a big fee in order to make deferral and accumulation actually work.”

Fact:
Waiting for the big fee to come along – and not already having it spoken for when it arrives – is a significant reason why wealth accumulation doesnt happen for so many attorneys.

In truth, trial lawyers should start planning person wealth now if they haven’t already begun – and that goes for equity partners and associates as well as those brand new to the trial bar. Self-confidence and tireless legal work do not automatically correlate to financial success at home. In addition to putting your nose to the grindstone, it’s crucial to have an overall personal financial plan in place – for both building wealth and managing cash flow at your law firm.

Now more than ever, the ability to build wealth starts right out of the gate. Younger trial attorneys are serving in a variety of leadership capacities in lawsuits and in the legal community. Female lawyers are fiercely closing the gender gap. More opportunities are on the horizon. That’s why it’s critical to start planning for financial success now, so it can grow alongside your professional success.

One strong (but not absolute) suggestion is structuring attorneys’ fees, which can be one effective part to that overall plan for financial success. Wherever you are in the timeline of your practice, consider the following factors about deferred compensation and structured fees:

  1. Deferred compensation is essentially an extension to your savings plan. Once you begin, you flip the switch to becoming a saver versus someone who is just perpetually generating revenue.
  2. The IRS limits how much anyone can defer in any one tax year–unless you are a trial lawyer working on contingency. Then it’s unlimited. Take advantage of it!
  3. Not all partners in a firm have to participate.
  4. Structured fees operate outside of 409A. Therefore, they don’t have minimums or maximums, are not census tested, don’t require a commitment on an annual basis, and are completely flexible in design.
  5. Attorney tax payers are taxed in the year of distribution; it’s recommended that the plans are put in the individual name of the lawyer, not the firm. So no tax is due on earned fees in the year the case settled. Control when you recognize income.
  6. Fees deferred and not recognized by the firm are accounted for in the same manner as cash distributions amongst partners for equity of distribution. Associates and newer attorneys to a firm can be rewarded with additional deferred comp as a tool for retention.
  7. Referring attorneys would be grateful to know you are thinking about their bottom line and not just sending them a check, but rather you are negotiating settlements that provide options for your firm and theirs.
  8. The growth of the assets can be based upon broad equity markets, so it’s not just your three percent annuity anymore.

When considering these factors, it’s important to remember that long-term financial security comes from continuous efforts and small wins. It’s the accumulation game. A consistent approach to deferral and accumulation can really make the difference over a decade. We have clients who have consistently done this on three to five cases a year for the past decade, and they have over $1 million pretax dollars working for them. It’s as simple as getting base hits.

Indeed, a trial attorney and his or her practice has to be financially ready to put a plan in place and stick to it. Consider your options carefully. The structured fee could be in your arsenal of long-term financial planning. Find your own expert and plan to incorporate this strategy into your planning and goals.

Teaching the real value of money

Terry Mills says its the real value of money and its helpful to think about how long you have to work to afford your wants and needs.

Whether its a tank of gas or a lap top, you need to budget and make sure have have money for the essentials and only afterwards for the extras.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services is a non-profit organization funded in part by the United Way. Call 605-348-4550 for an appointment at 2310 N Maple Ave, Rapid City, SD 57701.

The phrase Time is money couldnt be more true for todays fast-paced workforce-especially for millennials.

Business loans to SMEs in SA now possible within three days

POLLEN, the Stellenbosch-based online business lender specialising in small to medium enterprises (SMEs), says it wants to drastically change the SME business lending space — a sector traditionally underserved by South African banks.

The company, which started operating eight months ago, has done R100m in loans, 65% of which are repeat business.

The idea behind Pollen is to give entrepreneurs and SME business owners fast business loans via an online application and vetting platform. Pollen business loans range from R50,000 to R1.5m.

The company believes that making it easier for SMEs to access funding will boost the sector, which was identified by the government as a key jobs driver.

While the National Development Plan (NDP) — the governments blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality — has set ambitious goals for the SME sector, entrepreneurs continue to face challenges such as red tape, a lack of access to finance and the high cost of doing business.

Pollen CEO Louis du Plessis said SA was way ahead of the global market in terms of online personal loans, with companies such as Wonga and Capitec, but that it lagged behind when it comes to unsecured business loans to the SME market.

Last year, we developed a tech platform to do credit vetting in a short amount of time, and which delivers business loans to SMEs within three days of the application process. I knew there was a vacuum in SA for such a business; that it could solve a major issue facing small to medium businesses here, said Du Plessis.

Du Plessis set up the company with Anglo African providing the funding backbone and operational support.

He said the market for online lending had huge potential since SAs SME sector comprises 1-million registered companies.

Its a substantial market, said Du Plessis, adding that Pollen provided loans to small businesses with an annual turnover of R1m and over, up to medium-sized companies with a turnover of R50m.

Anglo African Group chairperson JP du Plessis said: The financial technology space is a growth industry, and the next-generation lenders such as Pollen, OnDeck, Moula and others are filling a gap left open by traditional banks, which have operated in the same way for over 40 years.

Three Movers to Watch for: CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF), MetLife, Inc. (MET), Pfizer Inc. (PFE)

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) retreated with the stock falling -12.6% or $-3.09 to close at $21.43 on light trading volume of 25.85M compared its three months average trading volume of 4.96M. The Deerfield Illinois 60015 based company operating under the Agricultural Chemicals industry has been trending down for the last 52 weeks, with the shares price now -64.09% down for the period and down by -46.4% so far this year. With price target of $29.5 and a -5.8% rebound from 52-week low, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. has plenty of upside potential, making it a hold with a view buy.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. manufactures and distributes nitrogen fertilizers and other nitrogen products worldwide. The company operates through Ammonia, Granular Urea, UAN, AN, Other, and Phosphate segments. Its primary nitrogen fertilizer products include ammonia, granular urea, urea ammonium nitrate, and ammonium nitrate. The company also provides diesel exhaust fluid, urea liquor, nitric acid, and aqua ammonia as well as compound fertilizer product, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer. It offers products primarily to cooperatives, independent fertilizer distributors, farmers, and industrial users. CF Industries Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1946 and is based in Deerfield, Illinois.

MetLife, Inc. (MET) dropped $-4.16 to close the day at a new closing price of $39.54, a -9.52% decrease in value from its previous closing price that moved the stock 14.01% above its 52 week low of $35. A total of 25.45M shares exchanged hands during the day compared with its three month average trading volume of 7.3M. The stock, which fluctuated between $38.87 and $41.32 during the day, currently situated -28.32% below its 52 week high. The stock is up by 3.1% in the past one month and down by -7.64% over the past three months. With a one year target estimate of $49.42 and RSI of 36.98, the stock still has upside potential, making it a hold for now.

MetLife, Inc. provides life insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management products in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It operates in six segments: Retail; Group, Voluntary amp; Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America; Asia; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company provides variable, universal, term, and whole life products; individual disability income products; personal lines property and casualty insurance, including private passenger automobile, homeowners, and personal excess liability insurance; and variable and fixed annuities for asset accumulation and distribution needs, as well as mutual funds and other securities products. It also offers group insurance products, such as variable, universal, and term life products; dental, group short- and long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment coverages; and voluntary and worksite products consisting of personal lines property and casualty insurance, as well as LTC, prepaid legal plans, and critical illness products. In addition, the company provides annuity and investment products comprising guaranteed interest products and other stable value products, income annuities, and separate account contracts for the investment management of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets; and structured settlements and products to fund postretirement benefits and company-, bank- or trust-owned life insurance, as well as health insurance, group medical, credit insurance, endowment, retirement, and savings products. It serves individuals and corporations, as well as other institutions and their employees. The company sells its products through sales forces, third-party organizations, independent agents, and property and casualty specialists, as well as through career agency, bancassurance, direct marketing, brokerage, and e-commerce channels. MetLife, Inc. was founded in 1863 and is based in New York, New York.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) shares were down in last trading by -0.4% to $35.15. It experienced higher than average volume on day. The stock decreased in value by almost -3.35% over the past week and fell -1.17% in the past month. It is currently trading -0.14% below its 50 day moving average and 9.31% above its 200 day moving average. Following the recent decrease in price, the stock’s new closing price represents a -5.21% decrease in value from its one year high of $37.39. The RSI indicator value of 39.57, lead us to believe that it is a hold for now.

Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. The company operates through Global Innovative Pharmaceutical (GIP); Global Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare (VOC); and Global Established Pharmaceutical (GEP) segments. The GIP segment develops and commercializes medicines for various therapeutic areas, including inflammation/immunology, cardiovascular/metabolic, neuroscience/pain, and rare diseases. The VOC segment develops and commercializes vaccines, as well as products for oncology and consumer healthcare. It provides over-the-counter products comprising dietary supplements under the Centrum, Caltrate, and Emergen-C brands; pain management products under the Advil and ThermaCare brands; gastrointestinal products under the Nexium 24HR/Nexium Control and Preparation H brands; and respiratory and personal care products under the brand names of Robitussin, Advil Cold amp; Sinus, Advil Sinus Congestion Relief amp; Pain, Dimetapp, and ChapStick. The GEP segment offers products that have lost marketing exclusivity in various markets; and branded generics, generic sterile injectable products, biosimilars, infusion systems, and other products. The company serves wholesalers, retailers, hospitals, clinics, government agencies, pharmacies, and individual provider offices, as well as centers for disease control and prevention. It has licensing agreements with Cellectis SA and AstraZeneca PLC; and collaborative agreements with Eli Lilly amp; Company, OPKO Health, Inc., BioRap Technologies LTD., and Merck KGaA. Pfizer Inc. was founded in 1849 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Bad loans ready to peak

The surge in bad loans is expected to peak in the third quarter and take a bite out of commercial banks quarterly earnings, says a senior central bank official.

Non-performing loans (NPLs) associated with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and housing are expected to rise as the tepid economic recovery dampens business, said Don Nakornthab, senior director of the financial institutions strategy department at the Bank of Thailand.

The central bank has asked commercial banks to assist SMEs deemed to have a good debt-servicing ratio in the long run, he said.

NPLs climbed higher in the second quarter on the back of re-entry bad debts and further deterioration in consumer and business loans.

Commercial banks gross NPLs rose to 2.72% of loans outstanding at the end of June, up from 2.64% registered in the first three months, according to central bank data.

The outstanding value of distressed loans was recorded at 374 billion baht in the second quarter, up from the first quarters 357 billion.

New NPLs have declined for a certain period, but the rise [in bad debts] is attributed to re-entry NPLs, which are bad debts that have been restructured before, Mr Don said. If re-entry NPLs can be stopped, an improvement could be seen for the NPL outlook. Re-entry bad loans are mostly associated with business and consumer loans, he said.

Bad loans related to SMEs climbed to 3.77% in the second quarter, up from 3.69% in the preceding quarter.

Business loans deteriorated in every loan segment in the second quarter, particularly loans associated with the industrial sector coupled with property and construction loans.

Industrial bad loans surged to 5.35% of total loans from 4.87%, while property and construction NPLs climbed to 4.5% from 4.33%.

Consumer bad debts rose slightly to 2.6% in the second quarter, up from the previous quarters 2.58%.

But credit card NPLs declined to 4.25% from 4.66%, attributed to commercial banks managing debt-restructuring programmes in this loan segment, Mr Don said.

Overall bank loan growth, meanwhile, expanded by 3.3% year-on-year in the second quarter with an outstanding value of 11.8 trillion baht, unchanged from the first quarters 3.3% valued at 11.6 trillion baht, central bank data showed.

Total loan growth among commercial banks also grew by 3.3% on year in the first half.

Lukewarm loan growth in the first half was attributed to low loan demand and commercial banks remaining cautious on providing loans, Mr Don said.

Loan growth in the second half is expected to expand by 3-4% supported by improved economic recovery, accelerated public expenditure, robust tourism and state assistance programmes provided to SMEs, he said.

Trend Analysis Report: Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)

$7 million, $0.02 per diluted share, in restructuring costs counting employee severance; and

$5 million, $0.01 per diluted share, in discrete tax expense.

After consideration of these net favorable items, second quarter 2016 adjusted net income was $64 million, or $0.17 per diluted share.

For the three months ended June 30, 2015, the company stated a net income attributable to controlling interest of $342 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. The second quarter of 2015 included net unfavorable items of $66 million, $0.18 per diluted share, associated with losses on the impairment of the midwater floater asset group and other assets classified as held for sale, partially offset by Macondo-related settlements and insurance recoveries. After consideration of these net unfavorable items, adjusted net income was $408 million, or $1.11 per diluted share.

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) lost -2.74% and closed in the last trading session at $40.15. MET stock’s price is now -26.54% down from its 52-week high and 16.84% up from its 52-week low. Beta factor of the stock stands at 1.88. Beta factor is used to measure the volatility of the stock. The stock remained 3.16% volatile for the week and 2.11% for the month. MetLife, Inc. provides life insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset administration products in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It operates in six segments: Retail; Group, Voluntary amp; Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America; Asia; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company provides variable, universal, term, and whole life products; individual disability income products; personal lines property and casualty insurance, counting private passenger automobile, homeowners, and personal excess liability insurance; and variable and fixed annuities for asset accumulation and distribution needs, in addition to mutual funds and other securities products. It also offers group insurance products, such as variable, universal, and term life products; dental, group short- and long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment coverages; and voluntary and worksite products consisting of personal lines property and casualty insurance, in addition to LTC, prepaid legal plans, and critical illness products. In addition, the company provides annuity and investment products comprising guaranteed interest products and other stable value products, income annuities, and separate account contracts for the investment administration of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets; and structured settlements and products to fund postretirement benefits and company-, bank- or trust-owned life insurance, in addition to health insurance, group medical, credit insurance, endowment, retirement, and savings products

Troubling credit and debt trends are returning

Maybe its time to take a closer look at your own debt and the potential impact of an economic slowdown on your finances. With the average credit card interest rate well over 15 percent, and many approaching 30 percent, the most sensible thing is to attack those balances now, while you have some choice in the matter.

Here are two ways to approach the problem of paying down card balances.

–Pay it off in three years. There is a simple mathematical formula that always works, no matter what the size of your card balance or interest rate. Just take the current monthly payment and double it. Make note of that amount, and keep paying that same amount every month. Dont charge another penny on the card. Your card will be paid off in three years!

–Buy time with a balance transfer. Transferring your current balance to a new card can give you time to get your debt management program started. But beware of fees and conditions. According to CreditCards.com (a division of Bankrate.com), of the 89 cards that offer a balance transfer, 77 of them charge a significant fee, averaging 3 percent of the transfer. Also, the no-interest grace period may differ, as will the rate charged on your balance when that period expires. Average rate at the end of the transfer period is 17.83 percent.

According to CreditCards.com, the very best deal out there is the Chase Slate card, which doesnt charge a fee if the transfer is made within 60 days of opening the account. And you dont pay interest on the Chase Slate transfer for 15 months.

There are some other alternatives if youre buried in credit card debt. Instead of hiding from the card issuer, ask for a late fee waiver or even a waiver of the annual fee. CreditCards.com says 89 percent of cardholders who asked for a late fee waiver had their requests granted, and 78 percent of those who asked for a lower interest rate were accommodated. (That trick works better if they know youre not desperate — something card issuers can see at a glance on your credit report!)

And if youre really stuck, contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227, which will connect you to the nearest local office of this trusted organization.

The first step is to make a list of all your debts. Then get started on a plan, because debt is a problem that only grows worse over time. And thats The Savage Truth.

(Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and the author of four best-selling books, including The Savage Truth on Money. Terry responds to questions on her blog at TerrySavage.com.)

(c) 2016 TERRY SAVAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC