May 12, 2020 / 2:48 PM / 18 days ago

UniCredit CEO says Italy's debt is sustainable, "doom loop" not a concern

MILAN, May 12 (Reuters) - Rome can sustain its public debt as its interest payments don’t differ much from those of countries such as Britain or Spain, the head of Italy’s biggest bank said, brushing aside concerns over the ‘doom loop’ between banks and the state.

Speaking at an online forum organised by the Financial Times, UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier said Italian banks in recent years had worked hard to rid their balance sheets from the legacy of past recessions.

“There’s a focus on Italy because of its debt ... but the cost of Italy’s debt is very sustainable ... an average Italian is wealthier than an average German, Italians are very wealthy and buying the debt together with institutions,” he said.

“The doom in my view is a story of the past ... because Italian banks have cleaned up their balance sheets.” (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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