UBI Banca to annul 3 bln euros in state-backed bonds

MILAN, March 6 Thu Mar 6, 2014 7:37am EST

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MILAN, March 6 (Reuters) - UBI Banca on Friday will pay back ahead of maturity, and then annul, bonds guaranteed by the Italian state worth 3 billion euros ($4 billion), the Italian lender said in a statement on Thursday.

At the height of the euro zone crisis Italy provided state guarantees for bank bonds in order to allow lenders to use their own debt as collateral to borrow from the European Central Bank at two extraordinary longer-term refinancing tenders held in late 2011 and early 2012.

UBI had never used the state-backed bonds it is planning to annul to borrow from the ECB, a spokesman for the bank said. ($1 = 0.7278 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za and Andrea Mandala, editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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