ELPE to seek reduction of debt level in first half

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) will seek to reduce its debt level during the first half of 2016, basing its decision on high profitability figures just reported by the corporate group.

The Greek refinery will strive to settle a 400-million euro bond expiring in May, as well as a further 200 million euros of roughly 550 million euros in total owed to NIOC, the state-run National Iranian Oil Company.

The outstanding amount owed to NIOC, prompted by banking restrictions caused by the now-lifted sanctions imposed by the west on Iran in 2011, needs to be fully paid by 2019.

ELPE will seek to reduce the corporate group’s substantial debt as neither the Greek state, which controls 35.5 percent of the company, nor the Latsis group, which owns a 42.6 percent equity share of ELPE through Paneuropean Oil, intend to pursue an increase in share capital.

ELPE’s total debt amounts to 3.3 billion euros, analysts were informed yesterday afternoon, when the company’s latest financial results were reported. Nearly half of this amount concerns short-term loans. The remainder is comprised of mid-term and long-term loans as well as bonds.

The company’s monthly needs for servicing its debt are estimated at 40 million euros.