Italian bank Carige books 1.76 bln-euro net loss

MILAN, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:42am EDT

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MILAN, March 28 (Reuters) - Italy's mid-sized bank Carige posted on Friday a net loss of 1.76 billion euros ($2.42 billion) for last year after heavy writedowns on past acquisitions and bad loans.

The Genoa-based bank, considered by analysts to be one of the weakest among the 15 Italian lenders due to go before the European Central Bank for a health check later this year, wrote down by 94 percent the goodwill on past deals and took writedowns of around 1 billion euros on its lending.

The bank also said it has appointed a group of other banks to run its planned 800 million-euro share offer which it needs to boost its balance sheet.

In its results statement on Friday, the bank said it was aiming for a Common Equity Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio of 11.5 percent of risk-weighted assets in 2018 but did not give a comparison with current levels.

The European Central Bank has set a minimum CET 1 capital ratio of 8 percent for euro zone banks.

Carige's top shareholder, a cash-strapped foundation with strong ties to the city of Genoa, had long resisted a share issue, hoping Carige would be able to strengthen its capital base through asset sales.

The bank, which also had to significantly boost reserves for its insurance unit, said it planned to repay this year around 80 percent of cheap ECB loans taken during the euro zone crisis. ($1=0.7278 euros) (Reporting by Lisa Jucca; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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