MILAN, June 10 Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
said on Tuesday it had sold 500 million euros ($680.75
million) of bad loans to U.S. private equity firm Fortress
Investment Group, the latest in a raft of disposals of
sour loans by Italian banks.
In a statement, Italy's No.3 lender said however that the
economic impact of the sale would not be significant as these
assets are normally sold at a deeply-discounted price.
Italy's worst economic recession in 70 years has lifted bad
loans at Italian banks to a record 166.4 billion euros in April,
forcing banks to put aside more and more capital to cover for
potential losses and curbing their ability to lend to companies.
Loss-making Monte dei Paschi, which started on Monday a
5-billion-euro capital increase, has the biggest portfolio of
bad loans among Italy's top banks.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca; Editing by Miral Fahmy)