Merger candidate Banca Etruria posts 2013 net loss

MILAN, March 31 Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:17pm EDT

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MILAN, March 31 (Reuters) - Banca Etruria, a small Italian lender which is seeking a merger with a stronger peer following advice from the Bank of Italy, said on Monday it posted a 70.3 million euro ($96.89 million) loss in 2013 due to loan and goodwill writedowns.

The Tuscan bank said its Tier 1 capital, a measure of financial strength, stood at 6.6 percent of risk-weighted assets at the end of last year.

"The 2013 result mirrors the still significant effects of the crisis and of a lack of economic recovery in the areas where the bank operates, with a direct impact on loan writedowns following Bank of Italy's requests to boost the coverage ratio," the bank said.

The bank said in a statement it had put aside 308.7 million euros to cover possible loan losses and had written down goodwill and other intangible assets for 5.2 million euros.

Banca Etruria said it continued to look at possible mergers with a banking group "of high standing." ($1 = 0.7256 Euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za)

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