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Banco Popolare could carry out €1B capital raise in H1

said April 1 that its board has allowed the bank'splanned €1 billioncapital increase tobe submitted for shareholder approval at the extraordinary shareholders'meeting May 6 and May 7, on first and second call, respectively.

BancoPopolare said the capital raise, which is subject to various authorizations, wouldbe carried out in the first half if market conditions are favorable.

Thecapital strengthening is linked with the agreed merger between the lender andBanca Popolare di MilanoScarl and is intended to fulfill regulatory requirements aimed atthe new merged entity becoming "a greater value creation for itsshareholders."

Assumingfull subscription of the cash call and the situation remaining unchanged sinceDec. 31, 2015, Banco Popolare would report a fully loaded Basel III commonequity Tier 1 ratio of approximately 14.9% and a total capital ratio of about18.3%.

Asof April 1, Banco Popolare has not received any expressions of willingness byits shareholders to subscribe to newly issued shares or bonds.