B. Popolare board to meet Sunday on cap hike-source

MILAN, Oct 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Italy’s Banco Popolare’s (BAPO.MI: )
board will meet on Sunday to approve a capital increase — 2
billion euros according to a report — to boost its capital
ratios, a source close to the operation said on Saturday.

In recent weeks, the bank has denied discussing a capital
increase for the moment and said it was selling assets. In
September it denied a newspaper report it was preparing a 2
billion euros share offering. [ID:nLDE68S0K3]

On Saturday a bank spokesman declined to comment.

Ansa news agency, citing Radio 24, said the capital increase
would be for 2 billion euros in two years, the bank would aim
for shareholder approval by December, and carry it out in 2011.

The market capitalisation of Banco Popolare is about 2.8
billion euros, making it the seventh largest in Italy.

In July, the bank passed the EU’s stress test with 7.4
percent Tier 1 capital ratio at end 2011 under the adverse
scenario and down to 7.0 percent with the additional sovereign
risk. At end-June Tier 1 was 7.6 percent.

In 2009, Banco Popolare was one of only four Italian banks
to seek government-backed bonds to shore up its capital issuing
1.450 billion euros of these bonds.
(Writing by Nigel Tutt)

B. Popolare board to meet Sunday on cap hike-source