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Italy gives banks up to 1 year to avail debt guarantee

Italian banks can apply for a state guarantee by June 30, 2017, on debt they issue, an initial deadline that may be pushed back by up to six months, subject to European Commission's approval, Reuters reported Dec. 23, citing a draft of the decree.

Banks are required to present a restructuring plan for accessing a guarantee if they need more than €500 million in bonds. The guarantee covers more than 5% of a bank's total debt.

According to the decree, which was approved by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's cabinet and is mainly aimed at keeping Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA afloat, bonds need to have a maturity of between three months and five years for them to be guaranteed, according to the report. Meanwhile, covered bonds' maturity can go up to seven years.