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Shares of Anthracite Capital, a real-estate investment trust teetering on the brink of insolvency, gave whatever shareholders it still has a tiny glint of hope Tuesday.

Its shares bounced as much as 16%.

Inside its quarterly earnings report, the company said it's negotiating with its secured lenders --

Bank of America

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Deutsche Bank

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Morgan Stanley

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-- to restructure its debt in a last-ditch effort to save itself. If the talks fail and Antracite defaults, it will set off a chain-reaction of cascading covenant breaches that will put it out of business and most likely send it into liquidation.

The company has until Friday to get a deal done.

Antracite, managed by the alternative-asset giant BlackRock

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, owes the three banks about $375 million. As of March 31, the company had total assets of almost $4.9 billion.

Anthracite's business was effectively blown up by the credit collapse. The company's strategy was to buy junk debt and other high-yield loans on commercial real estate.

The company's first quarter earnings, meanwhile, were sort of beside the point. Net income available to common shareholders was $21 million, or 27 cents a share, less than half the numbers last year.

Anthracite shares traded Tuesday afternoon at $1.04, up 14 cents, or 16%, on volume of 2.5 million shares. Average daily volume is 900,000.

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