January 18, 2018 / 4:48 PM / a year ago

BNP Paribas frontrunner to buy Banco BPM's depositary banking business: sources

FILE PHOTO: The logo of BNP Paribas bank is pictured on an office building in Nantes, France, July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - France’s BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) is the frontrunner to buy the depositary banking business of Italy’s Banco BPM (BAMI.MI), which could be worth around 200 million euros ($245 million), two sources close to the matter said.

The proposed sale falls under a reorganization of financial holdings and capital management actions Italy’s third-largest bank is carrying out following the merger last year that gave birth to Banco BPM.

Both banks declined to comment.

One of the sources said Banco BPM’s depositary bank, a unit that provides services to facilitate investments in securities, could be worth between 200-250 million euros.

Financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, which first reported news of the sale on Thursday, mentioned a value of between 150-200 million euros - which analysts say would translate into a positive impact on the bank’s best-quality capital of 20-25 basis points.

Depositary banking services are not very lucrative unless they are carried out on a large scale. Mediobanca Securities analysts estimated revenues from the unit at just 2 percent of Banco BPM’s 2019-2020 adjusted profit.

BNP Paribas Securities Services, fully owned by BNP Paribas, is the world’s fifth-largest custodian bank.

Back in 2010 BNP Paribas Securities Services bought the depositary bank of Banca Popolare di Milano, the Milanese lender which last year merged with Banco Popolare to create Banco BPM.

Reporting by Andrea Mandala, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Agnieszka Flak

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