Intesa hikes exposure to Italian govt bonds

MILAN, March 12 Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:38am EDT

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MILAN, March 12 (Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's biggest retail bank, had 57 billion euros ($74.18 billion) of Italian government bonds on its books at the end of 2012, up 8 billion euros from the end of September, according to a presentation posted on its website on Monday.

Intesa, the first major Italian bank to report earnings, said it expected to pursue a rigourous and prudent provisioning policy against bad loans throughout 2013.

For this year, the bank expected to pay a dividend equal to or higher than the 0.05 euros per share proposed for 2012.

The bank said in the presentation it had already wholly refinanced wholesale bonds expiring this year.

($1 = 0.7684 euros) (Reporting By Silvia Aloisi, editing by Stephen Jewkes)