Europe is back

The 35th AFTE annual conference took place in Paris on 13 and 14 November 2018.

During the "Dealing with a cyberattack" workshop, Daniel Biarneix, deputy CFO of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, detailed the NotPetya attack on the company on 28 June 2017. The whole IT group (software, mails...) in Europe was out of order, and the restart took place from 10 to 27 July.

For two weeks, the Saint-Gobain Treasury Department was without tools and worked by hand. It was able to resume operations thanks to the business continuity plans. This is the main lesson of this attack: any company must have pre-defined, formalized, updated and tested business continuity plans.

The workshop "EONIA, EURIBOR, LIBOR: endangered species, and after?” commented on future interest rate indices that should be in place by 1 January 2020 and that will respect both the 2013 IOSCO principles as well as the benchmark regulation, called BMR.

In the future, the only rates based on actual transactions will be overnight rates [SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) for the pound sterling, ESTER (Euro Short Term Rate) for the euro and SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) for the US dollar].

One of the main stumbling blocks is the transition, for example how to move from EONIA to ESTER.

On the legal aspects of contract continuity, AFTE's recommendation is as follows:

  • make an amendment to syndicated loan agreements.

  • do nothing at the moment on the bonds contracts.


Richard Cordero