May 2, 2017 / 10:39 AM / 2 years ago

EU clears UBI banks' acquisition of three rescued Italian lenders

BRUSSELS, May 2 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it had approved Italy’s sale to UBI Banca of three small banks which were rescued by Italian authorities in 2015.

The EU executive said the sale of Banca Marche, Nuova Banca Etruria and Nuova Carichieti to UBI bank did not distort competition.

The purchase by UBI Banca of the three banks “depended on their remaining non-performing loans being sold to a third party,” the Commission said in a statement.

As part of that sale of bad loans, “the resolution fund injected additional capital of 810 million euros ($883.8 million) into the three bridge banks and granted a set of guarantees for risks related to the acquired entities.”

The operation was considered in line with EU state aid rules, the Commission said. ($1 = 0.9165 euros) (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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