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Insurance deal boosts Banco BPM's Q1 net income

Banco BPM SpA reported a year-over-year increase in first-quarter net income when excluding gains from merger-related purchase price allocation, and said its nonperforming loans platform has been attracting interests.

In an earnings call with investors, CEO Giuseppe Castagna said the bank has recently received inquiries about a sale of its nonperforming loans platform, particularly after Italian peer Intesa Sanpaolo SpA agreed in April to divest a €10.8 billion NPL portfolio as part of a deal with Swedish debt collection firm Intrum Justitia AB.

Banco BPM, which was created through the merger of Banca Popolare di Milano SpA and Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa in 2017, reclassified consolidated net income of €223.3 million for the first quarter, up from €115.2 million earned in the same period in 2017. Including gains of €3.08 billion from merger-related purchase price allocation, the Italian bank's reclassified consolidated net income in the first quarter of 2017 was €3.19 billion.

The bank noted that its first-quarter result includes a capital gain of €176 million from the agreed sale of 65% of the share capital of units Avipop Assicurazioni SpA and Popolare Vita SpA to Società Cattolica di Assicurazione Società Cooperativa.

Profit on the disposal of equity and other investments increased to €179.7 million in the period from €17.1 million a year ago.

Net interest income increased on a yearly basis to €595.1 million from €548.6 million, while net fee and commission income declined to €476.5 million from €515.8 million.

Net adjustments on loans to customers widened to €326.2 million in the first quarter from €292.5 million a year earlier.

The bank said its net nonperforming exposures totaled €11.4 billion at the end of March, down by €1.7 billion from the end of 2017, mainly driven by additional write-downs of bad loans of €1.2 billion and of performing loans of €100 million due to the adoption of the IFRS 9 accounting standards.

The bank's phased-in IFRS 9 common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 13.48% at the end of March, compared to 12.36% as of Dec. 31, 2017. The pro forma fully loaded IFRS 9 CET1 ratio was 12.10% at March 31.

Additionally, a plan to merge Società Gestione Servizi BP SCpA and BP Property Management scrl into Banco BPM was approved by the board of directors of all three entities. The merger is expected to complete in January 2019, subject to approval from the competent authorities, with the accounting and fiscal effects to start on Jan. 1, 2019.