Intesa Sanpaolo’s CEO sees deals with Italian banks within 12 months

LONDON – There will be new mergers in the Italian banking sector in the coming months, the CEO of Italy’s largest bank by market capitalization has predicted.

Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday: “I think there will be an M&A deal in the country within 12 months. I don’t know what a bank it can be. ” merged or merged, but the future for the country is to enter another season of merger (s). “

His comment comes after S&P Global Market Intelligence said in a March release that Italy is on the verge of “being the busiest bank merger market in Europe in 2021”.

The rating and analysis firm said the large number of Italian banks, the relative size of the market the top banks occupy, and the need for digitization put pressure on smaller lenders to consolidate with others.

Italy’s Banco BPM and BPER Banca said in December they are considering a merger with the possibility of a deal in the first half of 2021. Media reports also suggest that Banco BPM has been discussing merger opportunities with other lenders, but has not. I am getting nowhere.

In addition, the Italian government has to sell its stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena – since 2017, when Italian taxpayers bailed out the struggling bank – in the coming months.

“It is clear that we are and will remain leaders in Italy by definition,” Messina said of Intesa Sanpaolo, but stressed that the market needs more large lenders.

“Italy … needs to have at least two other players who can have a good market share because the future is to focus,” added Messina.

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