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MILAN, March 17 (Reuters) - Credit rating agency Fitch cut Italy's Banca Popolare di Vicenza long-term rating on Friday to "CCC", citing the possibility that the regional bank may have to impose losses on investors holding its senior bonds as part of a bailout plan.
The bank is expected to request state aid to fill a capital shortfall through a so-called precautionary recapitalisation as early as Friday, two sources close to the matter have told Reuters.
Fitch, which previously has a B- rating for the bank, said in a statement there was a "real possibility" senior bondholders would be hit if the lender does not receive cash from the state and the conversion or write-downs of junior debt is not sufficient to boost capital, the rating agency said. (Reporting by Francesca Landini)