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Author: Don Obrien

Decline and near fall of Italy’s Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest bank


A sign of the Monte dei Paschi bank is seen in Rome, Italy September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

MILAN, Oct 25 (Reuters) – A deal for the Italian government to sell Monte dei Paschi (BMPS.MI) to UniCredit (CRDI.MI)collapsed on Sunday after the two sides failed to agree terms. read more

That leaves Rome still struggling to find a solution for the Tuscan lender it has spent billions of euros on since the 2008 financial crisis.

Here is a timeline of key events in the recent history of Monte dei Paschi (MPS), whose origins can be traced back to the 15th century, which have made it the epitome of Italy’s banking nightmare.

NOVEMBER 2007 – MPS buys Antonveneta from Santander (SAN.MC) for 9 billion euros in cash, just months after the Spanish bank paid 6.6 billion euros for the Italian regional lender.

JANUARY 2008 – MPS announces a 5 billion euros rights issue, a separate 950 million euro capital increase reserved to JPMorgan, a 2.2 billion euro Tier2 bond issue and a 1.95 billion euro bridge loan to fund the Antonveneta deal.

MARCH 2008 – The Bank of Italy, led by Mario Draghi, approves the Antonveneta takeover subject to MPS rebuilding its capital.

MARCH 2009 – MPS sells 1.9 billion euros in special bonds to Italy’s Treasury to shore up its finances.

JULY 2011 – MPS raises 2.15 billion euros in a rights issue ahead of European stress test results.

SEPTEMBER 2011 – The Bank of Italy provides 6 billion euros in emergency liquidity to MPS through repo deals as the euro zone sovereign debt crisis escalates.

MARCH 2012 – MPS posts a 4.7 billion euro 2011 loss after billions of goodwill writedowns on deals including Antonveneta.

MAY 2012 – MPS headquarters searched as prosecutors investigate whether it misled regulators over the Antonveneta acquisition.

JUNE 2012 – MPS asks Italy’s Treasury to underwrite up to another 2 billion euros in special bonds.

OCTOBER 2012 – Shareholders approve a 1 billion euro share issue aimed at new investors.

FEBRUARY 2013 – MPS says losses stemming from three 2006-09 derivatives trades amount to 730 million euros.

MARCH 2013 – MPS loses 3.17 billion euros in 2012, hit by plunging prices on its large Italian government bond holdings.

MARCH 2014 – MPS posts 2013 net loss of 1.44 billion euros.

JUNE 2014 – MPS raises 5 billion euros in a deeply discounted rights issue and repays the state 3.1 billion euros.

OCTOBER 2014 – MPS emerges as the worst performer in Europe-wide stress tests with a capital shortfall of 2.1 billion euros.

OCTOBER 2014 – The former MPS chairman, chief executive and finance chief are sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of misleading regulators.

NOVEMBER 2014 – MPS plans to raise up to 2.5 billion euros after stress tests results.

JUNE 2015 – MPS raises 3 billion euros in cash having upped the size of its rights issue after a 5.3 billion euro net loss for 2014 on record bad loan writedowns. It repays the remaining 1.1 billion euro state underwritten special bond.

JULY 2016 – MPS announces a new 5 billion euro rights issue and plans to offload 28 billion euros in bad loans as European bank stress tests show it would have negative equity in a slump.

DECEMBER 2016 – MPS turns to the state for help under a precautionary recapitalisation scheme after its cash call fails. The ECB sets the bank’s capital needs at 8.8 billion euros.

JULY 2017 – After the ECB declares MPS solvent, the EU Commission clears the bailout at a cost of 5.4 billion euros for the state in return for a 68% stake. Private investors contribute 2.8 billion euros for a total of 8.2 billion.

FEBRUARY 2019 – MPS swings to profit in 2018 but says its updated projections are below EU agreed restructuring targets.

OCTOBER 2019 – MPS completes Europe’s biggest bad loan securitisation deal, shedding 24 billion euros in bad debts.

FEBRUARY 2020 – MPS posts 1 billion euro 2019 loss.

MAY 2020 – CEO Marco Morelli steps down urging Rome to find a partner for MPS. He is replaced by 5-Star backed Guido Bastianini.

AUGUST 2020 – Italy sets aside 1.5 billion euros to help MPS as it works to meet a mid-2022 re-privatisation deadline.

OCTOBER 2020 – MPS shareholders approve a state-sponsored plan to cut soured loans to 4.3% of total lending. Under the plan Italy’s stake falls to 64% as a decree paves the way for its sale.

OCTOBER 2020 – A Milan court convicts MPS’ former CEO and chairman for false accounting in a surprise decision that forces MPS to boost legal risk provisions.

DECEMBER 2020 – MPS says it needs up to 2.5 billion euros in capital.

DECEMBER 2020 – Italy approves tax incentives for bank mergers entailing a 2.3 billion euro benefit for an MPS buyer.

JANUARY 2021 – MPS says to open its books to potential partners.

FEBRUARY 2021 – MPS posts 1.69 billion euro loss for 2020.

APRIL 2021 – Andrea Orcel takes over as UniCredit CEO.

JULY 2021 – UniCredit enters exclusive talks with Italy’s Treasury to buy “selected parts” of MPS, a day before European banking stress test results show the smaller bank’s capital would be wiped out in a slump.

OCTOBER 2021 – Talks with UniCredit collapse after the two sides fail to agree on how much the select assets of MPS are worth. Rome is left needing to ask the European Union for an extension to its deadline for returning the bank to private ownership.

($1 = 0.8593 euros)

Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Alexander Smith, Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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