"It's a project concerning [loans to] restructured companies, so it's not a bad bank," says UniCredit (UNCFF, UNCFY) CEO Federico Ghizzoni, confirming his bank and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISNPY) are in talks with KKR. Among the possibilities is the setting up of a vehicle to hold the two lenders' restructured loans, with KKR injecting equity into the indebted companies.
As of the end of Q3, Intesa and UniCredit had a combined $14.5B in gross restructured loans, and the government would be pleased to see them removed from their books.
The Italy (EWI -3.7%) and Spain (EWP -3.1%) ETFs lead a now-tumbling Europe (FEZ -1.8%) as - maybe we're being too simplistic here - Eurogroup President Dijsselbloem has more or less told anybody with greater than €100K in deposits at what could be a troubled bank they need to think about getting their money out. Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo are halted down more than 5%. EUFN -2.4%.
It's been awhile since we did one of these posts, but Italy's Unicredit is halted after falling 5% in Milan. The MIB Index is off 2.9%, leading a 2% drop in broader Europe today. Earlier: Political troubles in the periphery.
Italy's UniCredit takes advantage of easing financial conditions to put forth its second bond issue in as many days, €750M of 5-year senior debt to follow Monday's €250M of junior paper. Today's offering is expected to price at about 255 bps over midswaps - about 15 bps less than expectations - and thus far has attracted €2.3B in demand.
Add Unicredit, Italy's largest bank, to the growing list of financial institutions being investigated in the U.S. for breaking sanctions on certain countries, with the FT reporting that one of those countries is - surprise surprise - Iran.
Moody's cuts 10 Italian financial institutions long-term debt and deposit ratings by one to two notches, citing the weakening of the Italian government's credit profile. UniCredit (UNCFF.PK) and GE Capital SpA are among the banks downgraded.
Italy's Unicredit reports a profit of €914M in Q1, beating expectations of €832.4M. Banking group deposits were higher by 2% and its core tier 1 capital ratio rises to 10.31%. A bit more ominous, lending for the retail bank fell 1.1% Q.Q. Shares +5.3% in Milan. Italy's MIB +1.3%.
Maybe more ominous than rising yields on 10-year Spanish and Italian debt are sharply higher rates on the 2-year paper. Both are about 120 bps higher than they were at the time of the ECB's 2nd LTRO (late Feb.). Presumably, both countries' banks loaded up at this end of the curve, meaning 6 weeks later, they're sitting on some large losses.
Spain(-1.4%) and Italy (-1.4%) are leading on the way down as Europe hits session lows, Stoxx 50 -0.8%. Banking shares are hit hardest - Unicredit (UNCFF.PK) -3.6% in Milan. Santander (STD) -2.5% and BBVA -2.8% premarket.
Some of Europe's biggest banks are preparing to pay back some LTRO funds in the next 12 months. The banks, which sources say include UniCredit, BNP Paribas and SocGen, are keen to repay the money as soon as they can - December of this year - even though they have until Dec. 2014 and Feb. 2015.
Should the ISDA do its job and trigger CDS if Greece activates its CACs, the biggest losers will be Unicredit (UNCFF.PK) and German banks. But while the sums are small, not triggering the contracts will "destroy the CDS market for sovereign debt," writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, thus deterring "investors from buying any Club Med bonds."
With Greece's debt-swap deadline a mere day away, posturing continues from both bondholders and Greek officials, but some of the largest private holders are falling in line. SocGen, Assicurazioni Generali and UniCredit all say they'll participate in the swap, as will Greece's six largest banks.
S&P cut the ratings of 34 Italian banks on Friday, due to concerns about expected lower profits and the banks' ability to roll over their wholesale debt. The downgrades, which include UniCredit (UNCFF.PK) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISNPY.PK), follow S&P's cutting of Italy's sovereign rating last month to BBB+.
UniCredit (UNCFF.PK) is planning to raise up to €25B ($32.6B) by issuing covered bonds, with proceeds to be used “for general funding purposes including the funding of the mortgage loans business of the group." Shares +4.2% in Italy. (previously)