New initiatives of NBU open opportunities for secondary Debt Trading

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The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) introduced important changes to the procedure for registration of cross-border loans advanced by foreign lenders to Ukrainian borrowers.

Among other initiatives, new rules simplify the registration of cross-border loans with the NBU and give more control over the registration procedure to the original and new lenders. This is particularly important for loan amendments triggered by the assignment of a lender. Now, new lenders or even a servicing bank may process with NBU registration of assignment without a intermediation or cooperation from a borrower. Before implementation of those changes, an unwilling borrower could stop (or at least delay) a valid transfer of loan to a new lender by simply refusing to countersign the required loan transfer documentation.

NBU made another important step forward and implemented a web-based loan registry. Access to such a registry will be granted to servicing banks and extracted from the registry along with the notice of servicing bank, which are deemed to be valid evidence of the loan registration and a new lender of record. Overall, such amendments should facilitate the secondary debt trading in Ukraine and re-open opportunities for the lenders to manage their balance sheet by simple structures (assignments, novation) as well as for traders to utilize more complicated back-to-back structures and strategy in the secondary debt market. New rules shall also revive distressed loan trading and will be more compatible with LMA standard documentation (LMA Transfer Agreement, LMA Assignment and LMA Trade Confirmation).

The amendments will become effective on 10 April 2017 and were introduced by NBU Regulation No. 26 "On Certain Changes to Regulation", dated 23 March 2017.