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Banco Popolare Refinanced Most of Its 2012 Debt, Merrill Says

Banco Popolare SC Chief Financial Officer Maurizio Faroni indicated the lender has already refinanced “a relevant part” of its bonds maturing next year, according to a note from Bank of America Corp.

The firm “doesn’t need to enter the funding market until next summer,” according to a note obtained by Bloomberg News and e-mailed to clients by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which hosted Faroni at a conference in London yesterday. “Their funding needs were covered for 2011 since the end of June and have already covered a relevant portion of the 5.5 billion euros ($7.4 billion) of maturities due in 2012.”

A Banco Popolare spokesman declined to comment. The Verona, Italy-based bank plans to sell real-estate assets and cut more than 1,000 jobs to boost capital and profit as part of its five-year business plan. The lender sold 2 billion euros in shares through a rights offer earlier this year before a second round of stress tests.

Faroni reaffirmed the bank’s 2013 targets and indicated the company is seeing a decline in gross impaired loans this year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

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