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Report: Crédit Agricole seeking buyers for €6B of Italian bad loans

Crédit Agricole SA is trying to off-load roughly €6 billion of Italian bad loans that it bought from other entities 10 or more years ago, Bloomberg News reported Feb. 16, citing "people with knowledge of the matter."

The French lender is attempting to sell its holdings in four different nonperforming loan securitization vehicles, which were created between 2006 and 2008 when the bank's investment banking arm bought and securitized the loans, along with a Luxembourg-based entity that issued them, the people said.

Nonbinding offers for the portfolio, dubbed project "Poppy," are due by March-end, the people said, adding that the bank is accepting offers for the whole portfolio or part of it. Crédit Agricole reportedly seeks to close the sale by June.

The portfolio includes Italian secured, unsecured and consumer debt and loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, and has a large exposure to the country's southern and central regions, the people said.

The bank has tapped KPMG to advise on the sale, Bloomberg said.