MILAN Dec 15 Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto
Banca are preparing to sell 8 billion euros ($8.3 billion) in
bad loans, the head of credit manager Credito Fondiario said on
Thursday, as the two Italian regional banks study a possible
Popolare Vicenza and Veneto Banca are in merger talks after
being rescued by banking industry bailout fund Atlante earlier
Atlante took them over when they failed to find buyers for
initial share issues needed to keep them afloat after loan
losses and impairment charges burnt through their capital.
The two lenders held 8.5 billion euros in bad debts at the
end of June, out of a total of 17 billion euros in doubtful
loans - which represent 38 percent of their overall client
Credito Fondiario CEO Panfilo Tarantelli told a press
briefing the loans could be sold in the course of next year in a
"On behalf of Atlante, Credito Fondiario has completed the
due diligence on the loan portfolio worth around 8 billion
euros," he said.
Credito Fondiario also carried out due diligence on the 28
billion euro bad loan portfolio that Monte dei Paschi di Siena
is trying to offload with the help of Atlante as part
of a rescue plan to avoid being wound down.
Popolare Vicenza and Veneto Banca must submit their merger
plan to the European Central Bank in coming weeks outlining
proposed bad loan disposals and the ensuing capital shortfall.
Atlante has already pumped 2.5 billion euros into the two
Newly appointed Popolare Vicenza CEO Fabrizio Viola told
reporters on the sideline of a separate event on Thursday he
aimed to have the plan ready by the end of January.
Also on Thursday, consultancy PwC forecast transactions on
Italian problem loans next year could total 50 billion euros in
terms of gross book value as lenders in the country strive to
shed problem assets that grew during a harsh recession.
Credit Fondiario, which belonged to Morgan Stanley until
2014, is a credit manager which currently services 4.7 billion
euros in loans. It also has a banking licence and on Thursday
launched its first savings account to broaden its funding tools.
($1 = 0.9605 euros)
(Reporting by Valentina Za and Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Mark