Distressed expectations

German NPLs

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It’s easy to see why people get excited about the German bad loan market. The country’s banks have around $3 trillion in loans outstanding, and it is often estimated that as much as 10% – or $300 billion – of these assets are non-performing. As German banks warmed to the idea of loan disposals in 2003, distressed debt investors began touring the country, attracted by the buzz surrounding this emerging market. Many now wish they hadn’t.

Richard Scholz, a Frankfurt-based partner at German

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