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Unione di Banche Italiane SCPA, Italy’s fifth-biggest bank by assets, issued 3 billion euros ($4 billion) in state-backed bonds, the Italian exchange said in a filing.
The Bergamo-based lender issued a 2 billion-euro bond expiring in 2015 and a 1 billion-euro bond expiring in 2017, according to the filing obtained by Bloomberg. The firm joined small and cooperative banks in applying for debt securities granted by the state.
Italy approved a measure in December that allows the Treasury to back bonds issued by banks in order to obtain loans from the European Central Bank. Financial institutions will ask the ECB for 470 billion euros in three-year funds for allotment on Feb. 29, according to the median of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
More than 140 local banks have issued at least 4.6 billion euros of bonds backed by the government in recent days, filings show. UniCredit SpA (UCG) Chief Executive Officer Federico Ghizzoni and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) CEO Enrico Tommaso Cucchiani said earlier this month their companies expect to participate at the next ECB long-term refinancing operation, without disclosing further details. Mediobanca SpA said last week it will seek about 4 billion euros to refinance its expiring bonds.
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