May 15, 2019 / 8:18 AM / 2 months ago

Italy's Bper not looking to rescue Carige - CEO

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Carige bank is seen in Rome, Italy September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italian lender Bper Banca is not looking to lead a rescue of ailing rival Carige after U.S. asset manager BlackRock dropped a potential bid for the Genoa-based bank, CEO Alessandro Vandelli said.

“I’m not studying the dossier,” Vandelli said on the sidelines of a banking industry meeting on Wednesday, when asked if Bper could replace BlackRock as the leading investor in Carige.

The U.S. fund has dropped plans to provide the bulk of a proposed 720 million euro (625 million pounds) capital injection into Carige.

Under the plan, Italian banks were due to contribute to rescue efforts by converting into equity 313 million euros in junior debt they bought from Carige in November last year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the same meeting, UniCredit Chairman Fabrizio Saccomanni and UBI CEO Victor Massiah said there were no developments on a possible industry-led rescue of Carige.

Saccomanni said UniCredit’s position had not changed after CEO Jean Pierre Mustier said his bank is focussed on organic growth in Italy but was ready to contribute in a “fair and proprotionate” manner to a possible rescue deal. Massiah said he could not comment on something he knew nothing about yet.

Reporting by Stefano Bernabei; Editing by Mark Bendeich and Louise Heavens

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