Higher bids to be sought for Italian banks
A fresh attempt will be made to sell four banks Italy rescued in November after three bids submitted last month were rejected, two sources familiar with the matter said yesterday.
New bids are now due by the end of August from suitors who did not follow up on their preliminary expressions of interests as well as the three bidders whose offers have been turned down, provided they improve on previous offers, a source said. The banks' chairman said in May there had been around 10 non-binding bids.
Financial newspaper 'Il Sole 24 Ore' reported on Saturday that the idea of selling the four banks together was being dropped in favour of disposing of each lender separately.
Making use of a deposit guarantee fund, Italian banks have pumped €3.5bn into Banca Marche, Banca Etruria, CariChieti and CariFerrara to cover losses stemming mainly from loan writedowns.
The value of the lenders has already been written down by €400m to €1.4bn but bids came in at only a fraction of that figure, inflating the burden placed on Italy's struggling banking system. (Reuters)