Italian banks exposure to subprime crisis

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Bank of Italy ran some audit to verify Italian banks exposure to subprime mortgage crisis. It seems that Italian banks should be only indirectly exposed to financial securities at risk: so this is another voice that tries to reassure Italian consumers, after Government and many analysts. From what emerge in some recent Reuters news, main Italian banks exposure should be the following:

  • Intesa SanPaolo: no direct involvement, the bank affirms to have already undertaken protection measures;

  • Mediobanca: no direct or indirect exposure to subprime mortgage-related securities;

  • Mediolanum: no direct or indirect exposure to subprime mortgage-related securities;

  • Generali: group exposure should be slightly over 3 million euros, a sum that CEO Perissinotto says is “irrelevant in the overall group context“;

  • Fondiaria-SAI: no direct or indirect exposure to subprime mortgage-related securities, neither CDO (Collateralized debt obligation) securities in portfolio;

  • Unipol: no direct or indirect exposure to subprime mortgage-related securities, but it owns 9 million euros in CDO, a “minimal sum” on total invesment, they say;

  • Unicredit: the group should have a “marginal” exposure ($150 million), plus $800 million (out of the book) through Bufco, a company inherihed in HVB acquisition.

In short, data seem to be quite reassuring for Italian banks. But the main doubt (besides, how markets will evolve) regards indirect exposure, which could be underestimated, since it is still possible that risky securities ended up by some devious way in low-risk portfolio: and this is stock market biggest fear in this last days.


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