September 6, 2018 / 4:36 PM / in 7 months

Monte dei Paschi kicks off 2.5 billion euro, unsecured bad loan sale - source

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank is seen in a bank entrance in Rome, Italy August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s state-owned Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) has kicked off the sale of around 2.5 billion euros (2.3 billion pounds) in unsecured bad loans, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

A second source confirmed the amount, which was first reported by Il Sole 24 Ore daily on Wednesday. Monte dei Paschi declined to comment.

Monte dei Paschi, which was rescued by the state after failing to raise cash from investors to fund a balance-sheet clean-up, completed this year a record 24-billion-euro bad loan securitisation sale.

At the end of June, it still held 19.8 billion euros in gross soured loans, or one fifth of total lending. The Tuscan bank is working on soured debt disposals as part of the restructuring plan agreed with EU authorities at the time of its bailout.

Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Steve Scherer

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