MILAN, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Italian cooperative lender Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) has put aside half of its first-half net profit to pay dividends on its 2014 results, Chief Executive Giuseppe Castagna told analysts during a conference call.
“We’ve already put aside half of the profit made in the period to pay dividends,” he said.
BPM’s first-half net profit rose 81 percent thanks to capital gains from an asset sale. The bank will be able to pass on the cash to shareholders after the Bank of Italy agreed to drop higher capital requirements it had slapped on the bank in 2011 following an audit.
Castagna said a Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 11.2 percent BPM had at the end of June already included the decision on the divided payout. BPM’s best-quality capital ratio would be 11.5 percent if it retained all earnings, he said. (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro,)