MILAN, March 22 Italian mid-tier regional
lenders Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca are set to
extend a settlement offer to their shareholders that was due to
expire on Wednesday by a few more days, a source close to the
The offer's deadline is likely to be extended to March 25 or
March 27, the source said, confirming a report in financial
daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
The offer is meant to stave off the risk of lawsuits against
the two banks, which are being probed by prosecutors over the
alleged mis-selling of shares to retail investors.
The lenders are proposing to repay 169,000 shareholders, who
bought stock in the last 10 years, around 15 percent of
investment losses if they agree not to pursue legal action.
Reducing legal risks is a necessary condition for a state
bailout of the two banks Italy is discussing with European
authorities, a source with direct knowledge of the matter has
(Reporting by Andrea Mandala, writing by Silvia Aloisi)