Italy preparing to let insurers grant credit to companies - source

MILAN, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:10pm EDT

MILAN, June 12 (Reuters) - Italy is readying measures to allow insurers to grant credit to companies, a government source said on Thursday, as the country seeks to fund flagging growth after a deep recession.

The measures are part of a draft bill now being prepared by the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and which the cabinet is expected to examine tomorrow or on June 20.

Insurance companies such as Generali as well as securitisation firms will be able lend directly to companies under conditions set by insurance regulator IVASS once they have adopted adequate risk control mechanisms, the source said.

"Individuals and micro-companies" will not be among those eligible to get credit from insurers, it added.

Italian companies currently rely almost exclusively on bank financing, which has fallen sharply during the economic downturn as lenders faced their own funding problems.

Italy, the euro zone's third largest economy, emerged from a two-year recession in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a 0.1 percent uptick in growth, only to fall back into contraction at the start of this year. (Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, writing by Danilo Masoni, editing by David Evans)

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