Monte Paschi chairman says bank fairly serene about ECB's AQR

MILAN, March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:11am EDT

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MILAN, March 12 (Reuters) - Italy's Monte dei Paschi is "fairly serene" about a sector-wide health check by European regulators, its chairman Alessandro Profumo said on Wednesday.

The bank earlier reported a bigger-than-expected loss of 1.44 billion euros after heavy writedowns on bad loans.

The fall in Italian government bond yields and the closing of the Santorini derivative trade have reduced a shortfall in the bank's available for sale portfolio to 700 million euros from 3.4 billion euros in 2011, Profumo said.

"There is a big difference, potentially these are all lower capital needs," Profumo said. "From this point of view we are fairly serene."

The bank has 26 billion euros of Italian government bonds.

(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Danilo Masoni)

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