MILAN, April 17 Banco Popolare said on
Thursday it had successfully closed its capital increase for 1.5
billion euros ($2.1 billion), the first Italian lender to tap
the market for funds ahead of Europe-wide health check of the
Banco Popolare, one of 15 Italian lenders under scrutiny in
the asset review by European regulators, said in a statement the
share sale had been 99.14 percent subscribed.
The capital increase was fully underwritten by a consortium
of banks headed by Mediobanca and UBS.
Banco Popolare and seven other Italian banks have announced
plans to raise a combined 8 billion euros to boost their capital
base before the results of the review are revealed later this
That amount is likely to increase to 10 billion euros on
Friday as Monte dei Paschi di Siena's board is
expected to hike the size of its own rights issue to 5 billion
euros from the 3 billion euros previously pencilled in.
($1 = 0.7228 Euros)
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi)