July 14, 2017 / 12:37 PM / 2 years ago

Italy's Carige looking at sale of bad loan platform - sources

MILAN, July 14 (Reuters) - Italian lender Banca Carige is considering a sale of the platform it uses to manage bad loans, two sources familiar with the matter said, at the same time as it prepares to offload 1.2 billion euros of bad debt.

Following the state rescue of Monte dei Paschi di Siena this month and the liquidation of two ailing regional banks, Genoa-based Carige has come into focus as one of the last remaining large Italian lenders with problems.

Among options being studied for the 1.2 billion euro ($1.4 billion) disposal, Carige may also sell its bad loan management platform, the two sources said. Consultancy Bain & Company is advising the bank on the deal, one of the sources said.

Bain & Company was not immediately available for comment.

The Italian debt servicing industry is expanding fast with banks in the country under pressure from regulators to reduce their holdings of impaired loans that rose to a total of 349 billion euros during a harsh recession.

Shares in Italian debt collector doBank debuted in Milan on Friday, rising as much as 17 percent. DoBank, Italy’s biggest debt servicing company, was created from the bad loan management platform that UniCredit sold to U.S. fund Fortress Investment Group in 2015.

Carige, which has been dogged by governance problems and has changed its chief executive twice in little over a year, plans to raise up to 500 million euros in a share issue.

Italy’s ninth-biggest bank has also been told by the European Central Bank it must cut its bad loans to 3.7 billion euros by the end of 2019 from 7.3 billion euros last year.

Carige last week transferred 938 million euros in bad loans to a vehicle that will repackage them as securities and sell them to investors. Carige aims to complete that deal this month and immediately start on the 1.2 billion euro sale. ($1 = 0.8761 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za and Elisa Anzolin; editing by David Clarke)

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