February 9, 2018 / 5:38 PM / a year ago

Italy's Monte dei Paschi made 3.5 bln euro loss in 2017

MILAN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - State-owned Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena posted on Friday a 3.5 billion euro ($4.3 billion) loss for 2017, hit by loan writedowns, falling revenue and one-off charges.

The Tuscan lender was rescued from bankruptcy last year in an 8.1 billion euro bailout that saw the state inject 3.9 billion euros of capital into the world’s oldest bank still in business, while investors shouldered the rest of the cost.

The bank wrote down loans and other financial assets to the tune of 5.5 billion euros to pave the way for a sale of 24 billion euros of bad loans that would cut its stock of soured loans to 21 billion euros this year.

In the fourth quarter, the bank booked a one-off 170 million euro charge due to upfront collection costs following the sale of its debt recovery business. It also had 166 million euros in legal costs.

Monte dei Paschi, which lost 3.2 billion euros in 2016, is targetting a 570 million euro profit in 2019 under a restructuring plan agreed with the European Commission to gain a green light to the bailout.

The bank, which last year cut its loans to customers by one fifth, said revenues dropped 6 percent and its operating loss increased 40 percent.

It managed to cut operating costs by 3 percent.

$1 = 0.8189 euros Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Mark Potter

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