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Report: Barclays aims to offload €13B of loans in Italy

BarclaysPlc's Italy country chief, Alessandra Perrazzelli, said April 8that the U.K. bank has initiated the disposal of about €13 billion ofperforming and nonperforming loans at its Italy unit as part of efforts to exitthe Italian retail business, Bloomberg News reported April 11.

"We are selling the complete portfolio of loans and weaim at closing the disposal of the whole portfolio in one or two years,depending on market conditions," Perrazzelli said.

Perrazzelli noted that the move, "the last step of thebank's exit plan from the Italian retail business," is consistent withBarclays' strategy to focus on businesses with sustainable returns.

The planned sale comes at a time when the Italian governmentreadies a plan to create a state-backed fund that could buy bad loans and help plug capitalholes at troubled banks. "The constitution of a fund that may address badloans and banks' capital issues may be an important trigger in reviving foreigninvestors' interest," Perrazzelli reportedly said.