MILAN, March 7 (Reuters) - Credito Valtellinese has sold non-performing loans with a gross book value of around 36 million euros ($50 million) to global alternative asset manager Ares Management, the Italian mid-sized bank said on Friday.
CreVal said in a statement the pool of non-performing loans would be sold to a securitisation vehicle. A fund controlled by Ares Management would then buy the notes issued by the vehicle and backed by the loans.
Italian banks had gross non-performing loans worth 156 billion euros at the end of last year and are striving to sell them. But a gap between the book value of these loans and prices investors are ready to pay is holding back sales.
Industry experts say banks are able to sell only relatively small pools of loans by picking assets that have been heavily written down.
"In the current market environment, this transaction is a first but significant milestone for CreVal in its non-performing loans de-recognition process," the bank said. ($1 = 0.7225 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Agnieszka Flak)