Pop Emilia in talks to sell portfolio of souring debt-sources

MILAN Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:05pm EST

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MILAN Feb 10 (Reuters) - Italy's cooperative lender Popolare Emilia Romagna is in talks with some investors to sell a portion of its souring loans, two sources close to the matter said on Monday.

The bank has put on the block a portfolio of problematic debts, mainly souring mortgage loans, worth 200-220 million euros ($273-300 million), one source said.

"There are three investors in the race to buy the portfolio, one is Italian, the other are foreigners," the source said.

Italy's sixth-biggest bank by assets had net bad debt of 6.5 billion euros at the end of September, including 2.4 billion euros of non-performing loans.

A second source said the bank is weighing other options to get rid of bad debt, including a vehicle investment bank Mediobanca is said to be setting up to take up non-performing loans from Italian lenders. ($1 = 0.7327 euros) (Reporting by Andrea Mandala and Elisa Anzolin, writing by Francesca Landini, editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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