ROME/MILAN, July 25 (Reuters) - The Italian government has asked a series of specialist pension funds to invest 500 million euros ($549 million) in the new fund the country is trying to set up to buy bad loans, a source close to the matter said on Monday.
The source said the Atlante 2 fund would only invest in non-performing loans and would not buy into bank equity.
Rome is looking for ways to support struggling lenders without breaking European Union state aid rules that require investors to take a hit first to shield taxpayers.
AdEPP, the association of sector-specific pension funds, said on Monday it urged its members to invest in Atlante 2, but added that its members would individually make decisions.
$1 = 0.9104 euros Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Stephen Jewkes
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