Monte Paschi Said to Be in Talks to Sell $2 Billion of Bad Loans

  • NPL sales process is attracting dozens of potential bidders
  • Deal Is expected to be completed before the end of the year

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA is selling about 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) of non-performing corporate loans as part of the Italian bank’s plan to shore up its capital, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Monte Paschi is selling a portfolio of secured and unsecured loans to small- and medium-sized firms, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. More than 20 companies have expressed an interest in buying the loans since the sales process started last week, the people said.

Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Viola is restoring profit and bolstering the bank’s finances by reducing risk and selling assets after tapping investors twice in less than two years. The Siena, Italy-based lender has sold more than 2 billion euros of non-performing loans in the last two years.

Monte Paschi will select bidders that will be given access to more information about the loans, before asking for binding offers, the people said. The process is expected to be completed by the end of the year. A spokesman for Monte Paschi declined to comment.

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