MILAN May 16 The chief executive of Banca
Carige said on Friday small investors in the Italian
bank were expected to take up to 31 percent of an upcoming 800
million euro ($1.1 billion) rights issue.
"We believe it's fair to assume that around 200-250 million
euros of the rights issue can be covered through our branch
network," CEO Piero Montani told analysts on a conference call.
Genoa-based Carige posted on Thursday a 65 percent drop in
first-quarter net profit on lower revenues as it sharply cut
assets to shore up its capital base.
At 6.5 percent of risk-weighted assets, the bank's
best-quality capital is currently below a minimum 8 percent
threshold set by the European Central Bank in a review of the
banking sector this year.
The bank, one of 15 in Italy targeted by the review, expects
the rights issue to boost the best-quality capital ratio to 9.5
The bank's biggest investor, the Carige foundation, which
owns more than 40 percent of the lender, has no money to invest
in the cash call and is looking for a buyer after regulators
authorised a cut in its holding to 19 percent.
($1 = 0.7291 Euros)
(Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Mark Potter)