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A significant interest for the Carige bad loans


Over 1.4 billion on sale, besides the managing platform

Banca Carige will present at the beginning of September the new industrial plan. In the meanwhile, the bank has started the transfer process of its assets for which it’s expecting an income of approximately 200 million. The plan includes the transfer of a tranche of its NPL  portfolio, for which a data room has been set up with performing loans totalling 1.4 billion euro. Yesterday, the Ceo of the bank controlled by the Malacalza family (17.58%), Paolo Fiorentino, showed the advancement of the asset strengthening actions of the bank from Genoa, which will be completed by a capital increase of 500 million expected by mid-September together with the assembly of the shareholders. The action will be focused on transferring the NPL portfolio, the platform to manage the bad loans, as well as some exclusive real estate assets, and 100% of Creditis, the consumer credit society and the merchant book business ( the collection services on Pos terminals).

“We have received – said Fiorentino – a lot of interest on the NPL portfolio that we have put in the data room and it is bigger than the one previously announced as it’s for a value of 1.4 billion rather than 1.2 billion. Our NPL management platform is also getting a lot of interest, and we have already identified the target investors for it, namely operators already active on the market”. “Carige”, declared Fiorentino, “will avail itself of the platform in the future as external servicer for selected impaired portfolios (the remaining 1.2 billion NPLs that the bank has to manage). Even though the NPL s and the platform, in theory, could be transferred separately, Fiorentino stressed how “all the potential buyers are looking at the two assets together. Who buys the portfolio and the platform, however, as a matter of fact, he’s buying also an option for the future transfers that we will do on another portfolio”. The combination of the capital increase for 500 million and the transfer of assets for 200 million, will enable Carige, said Fiorentino “to collect two points and a half of the Cet1”. That doesn’t consider though the sale of the NPLs portfolio, has specified the Ceo, which represents a “minus” at the moment not exactly quantifiable.

According to Fiorentino, it’s possible that the investors that will buy the bad loans of Carige will take also part in the capital increase but, he added, he doesn’t see any “white knights”. He continued, “I know many of these funds and with some of them we are discussing the possible interest in participating at the capital increase. In that case, these participations will be of financial nature and not strategic”. For what concerns the real estate, the bank put on sale eight properties (among these two in Milan, two in Rome, and one in London), for which, said Fiorentino, both international and Italian investors showed interest. The Italians are particularly interested in the building in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. The real estate assets of the bank amount to 800 million, according to the book value. Of these,” a significant part, about 600 million, are instrumental assets, offices, and branches”. The Ceo excludes additional transfers outside the eight buildings.

Fiorentino remembered that the industrial plan that will be launched in September will include as well a staff reduction and that a quota of the capital increase will be destined to “manage the exit plan of the senior personnel”, Fiorentino said that there is “no disagreement” between the Carige shareholders  and that “any decision hasn’t been taken yet” concerning the possible conversion of the Generali bond. Finally, concerning the future of Carige, he clarifies, “it will make sense to take part in the stabilization process only if seated at the right side of the table”, that means “the one that discusses, not the one who is being discussed!”, Carige “in a potential integration process, would immediately benefit in terms of capital”. Yesterday the stock closed with 0.25 recording +10.72%.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi


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