Bailed-out Italian bank Carige needs another 400 million euros

MILAN (Reuters) -Bailed-out Italian lender Banca Carige said on Thursday it needed a further 400 million euros ($473 million) in capital and there was no certainty of striking a merger deal it views as key to its eventual revival.

FILE PHOTO: A man rides a bicycle past a Carige bank in Rome, Italy September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

Genoa-based Carige was placed under special administration by the European Central Bank at the start of 2019, before being rescued a year later by Italy’s depository protection fund (FITD).

The FITD is financed through contributions from other Italian banks.

Carige said needed to raise more capital by the third quarter of 2022 at the latest to help it make a net profit in 2023.

Carige’s shares have not traded for the past two-and-a-half years. The bank said they would resume trading on July 27.

In a prospectus for investors published ahead of the resumption of trading, Carige said that “the restructuring and relaunch of the group is not yet complete, so significant uncertainties remain over the group’s prospects”.

Carige said an eventual merger was an essential element of its overhaul, adding “there is no certainty about if and when such combination can be achieved.”

Carige needs a new buyer after Cassa Centrale Banca (CCB) in March decided not to exercise an option to buy FITD’s 80% stake amid the market uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

FITD, which cannot be a long-term investor in a lender, earlier in June opened up Carige’s books to potential suitors, according to sources close to the matter.

Three years ago, FITD pumped 600 million euros into the loss-making bank to keep it afloat, for a stake now valued at just 104 million euros.

($1 = 0.8462 euros)

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