MILAN Feb 28 Italy's No. 4 lender, Banco
Popolare, posted a full-year net loss of 606 million
euros ($829 million) for 2013 after heavy writedowns on bad
debts, it said on Friday.
It was the third straight annual loss for the lender, which
has already announced a 1.5 billion euros capital increase to be
launched in April.
Banco Popolare, one of 15 Italian banks being scrutinised by
the European Central Bank, had warned at the end of January that
it would end 2013 with a loss of around 600 million euros due to
high loan loss charges.
It said on Friday that it had booked loan loss provisions of
1.69 billion euros for 2013, of which around 1 billion euros in
the fourth quarter alone.
Bad loans have become the number one problem for Italian
banks after the euro zone's third biggest economy suffered its
longest recession since 1945.
The bank, the first Italian major lender to report annual
results, said that including the capital increase its Common
Equity Tier 1 ratio, a measure of financial strength, stood at
10.8 percent - above the minimum 8 percent threshold set by the
In 2012, the bank had lost 627 million euros.
($1 = 0.7309 euros)
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Stephen Jewkes)