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Completed restructuring deals fell by a third to US$140.9b in 2015

[LONDON] Completed distressed debt and bankruptcy restructurings fell by a third in 2015 compared with the previous year with failed Icelandic bank Glitnir and Ukraine's sovereign debt accounting for the top deals, Thomson Reuters data showed.

In 2015, completed restructuring deals fell 33 per cent to US$140.9 billion, with the number of deals falling to 231 from 317. At US$90 billion, activity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for the bulk of deals, while US restructurings made up US$37.9 billion, according to the report.

The biggest single transaction was the US$17 billion debt restructuring of Glitnir, which collapsed in 2008 as Iceland's financial system crashed during the global financial crisis.

In December, Glitnir said it had got an agreement from the central bank to begin paying out billions of dollars owed to creditors, ultimately enabling Iceland to lift the capital controls that are stifling investment and preventing it from rejoining the international financial community.

Ukraine's US$15 billion restructuring struck in August was the second-biggest deal. Completed in November, the restructuring deal was part of a US$40 billion bailout package arranged by the International Monetary Fund for the country which has seen its economy ravaged by decades of mismanagement and a conflict over its eastern regions with Russia.

The US$14.6 billion restructuring of state-owned conglomerate Dubai World was the third-largest deal.

Around a quarter of the volume of completed restructurings were in the industrial sector while a fifth were in the financial sector. Governments made up 11 per cent.