October 15, 2016 / 12:17 PM / a year ago

Italy's Banco Popolare shareholders approve merger with BPM

VERONA, Italy (Reuters) - Shareholders in Italian lender Banco Popolare on Saturday approved a tie-up with Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) by a resounding majority, removing one of the final hurdles to the creation of Italy’s third-largest bank.

A woman walks past Banca Popolare di Milano ( BPM) downtown Milan, Italy, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

BPM shareholders have the final say on the merger plan and will vote later today after their own meeting in Milan.

If approved, the tie-up will be the first prompted by reforms introduced by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi early last year to promote mergers and boost bank profitability.

Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; writing Francesca Landini; editing by Isla Binnie

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