March 9, 2018 / 9:45 AM / a year ago

Italian banks' lending to firms rise 1.9 pct in January

MILAN, March 9 (Reuters) - Italian banks’ loans to businesses rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in January accelerating sharply after a 0.2 percent rise the previous month, central bank data showed on Friday.

Italian banks have sharply reduced lending to firms after a deep recession saddled them with a large bad loan pile.

Lenders increased writedowns of impaired debts in the last month of the year, pushing net bad debts down to 59.3 bln euros in January from 64.1 billion euros in December, the data showed.

Before writedowns, bad loans stood at 166.5 billion euros in January little changed from 167.4 billion euros the month before. (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Francesca Landini)

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