Italian banks cut corporate loans in January, buy more govt bonds

MILAN, March 11 (Reuters) - Italian banks lent less to firms in January while increasing slightly their domestic government bond portfolio, central bank data showed on Monday.

Corporate loans fell 0.7 percent on a yearly basis after rising 1.2 percent in December. Banks added some 14 billion euros in Italian government bonds, boosting their portfolio to 882.10 billion euros ($991.92 billion) in January.

The data also showed a marginal increase in gross bad loans in January after they fell sharply in December to a multi-year low. Lenders held 110.17 billion euros in bad loans before writedowns compared with 99.66 billion euros the previous month. Net of writedowns, bad loans stood at 33.42 billion euros in January from 31.87 billion euros in December.($1 = 0.8893 euros) (Writing by Alessia Pe, editing by Valentina Za )