January 10, 2019 / 12:36 PM / 6 months ago

Italian cooperative ICCREA approves share sale, readies for merger

MILAN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Shareholders at Italian cooperative lender ICCREA Banca approved a 250 million euro ($288 million) share sale, it said on Thursday, as it works on a merger that will turn ICCREA into the country’s fourth largest bank by assets.

Italy is reforming its cooperative banking sector, forcing nearly 400 small lenders to merge into one of three larger groups being formed in a bid to boost their financial strength.

ICCREA Banca will head the biggest of the three, with 142 small cooperative lenders expected to join.

The bank’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting also approved new corporate bylaws, which would legally allow ICCREA to become the parent of the new banking group, it said in a statement.

$1 = 0.8673 euros Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Jason Neely

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