January 31, 2020 / 4:36 PM / 21 days ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Italy's Carige appoints new board, ends 12 month special administration

(Refile to fix typos in bullet point)

* Former Intesa Sanpaolo executive will be new CEO

* Bank aims to swing to profit in 2021

* Board will start process to readmit Carige to stock market

By Andrea Mandala

GENOA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Italy’s Banca Carige appointed a new board on Friday to take the reins of the regional lender, ending more than 12 months under a temporary special administration and setting the stage for a business plan envisaging profitability by 2021.

Since being placed under special administration by the European Central Bank at the beginning of last year, Carige has been kept afloat by other Italian banks, which shouldered the bulk of a 900 million euro ($1 billion) rescue.

The newly-elected board will meet soon after Friday’s shareholder meeting to appoint former Intesa Sanpaolo executive Francesco Guido as chief executive.

“The task of the special administrator is now completed with the return of the bank to day-to-day management and the appointment of the board,” FITD head Salvatore Maccarone said, adding that the new management would carry out a business plan drawn up by the administrators last year.

Under the plan, the bank would swing to profit in 2021 and would exceed capital requirement targets set by the European Central Bank over the period to 2023.

Weakened by decades of mismanagement and excessive local exposure, Carige piled up 2 billion euros in losses over the past five years, mostly in loans that turned sour amid a global shipping slump and deep domestic recession.

After attempts to attract a buyer failed, a depositor protection fund (FITD) financed by Italian banks had to step in to rescue the Genoa-based lender and now holds an 80% stake in Carige after a 700 million euro ($782 million) capital increase.

The FITD appointed the majority of administrators, including former UniCredit deputy chairman Vincenzo Calandra Bonaura as Carige’s chairman.

Unlisted cooperative banking group Cassa Centrale Banca (CCB) was the only Italian bank to make a direct investment in Carige and has a stake of 8.3% following the capital increase, making it the second-largest shareholder.

CCB has an option to buy the FITD’s stake at a deep discount between the middle of this year and the end of 2021.

Italian state-owned bad loan manager AMCO also helped the rescue of Carige by ridding the lender of 2.8 billion euros in problem loans.

“The lender has all the conditions to stay in the market efficiently”, said special administrator Fabio Innocenzi, adding it was up to the new board and the market authority to start the process to have its shares readmitted to the stock market.

Carige had a market value of 85 million euros when its shares were suspended in January. (Reporting by Andrea Mandalà Editing by James Mackenzie and David Holmes)

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