MILANO (Reuters) - Italian banks are set to meet on Monday to discuss taking part in the latest rescue plan for ailing lender Carige, four sources familiar with the matter said.
Temporary administrators appointed by the European Central Bank to run Carige are trying to find a buyer for Italy’s tenth-largest bank by mid-May, after its top shareholder derailed an industry-financed rescue by blocking a 400 million euro (£343.2 million) cash call in December.
Italian banks came to Carige’s rescue in November by buying, via the Voluntary Scheme of the FITD depositor guarantee fund, a 320 million euro ($362 million) hybrid bond needed to boost the bank’s total capital ratio.
Banks are now considering converting that bond into equity to help to plug Carige’s capital shortfall.
The bulk of the investment would come from a specialist fund run by BlackRock which is in talks with the Carige commissioners as well as banking regulators over funding a capital increase which could total more than 700 million euros.
Following Monday’s meeting, the final decision over the investment in Carige will be taken during a general meeting of all the banks contributing to the voluntary scheme expected on May 14, one source said.
The approval is subject to a voting procedure which requires backing from a large majority of the scheme’s members.
Reporting by Andrea Mandala and Stefano Bernabei, editing by Louise Heavens