BPER picks Gardant-AMCO for bad loan as Carige boosts profits

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MILAN, August 4 (Reuters)italy fourth largest bank BPER Banca IMEI.MIpicked a duo of credit manager Gardant and its state-backed counterpart AMCO to discuss the sale of its loan collection business as it posted a significantly higher profit in the first half.

BPER said net profit jumped 176% in the first half thanks to a positive accounting effect of 1.2 billion euros (1.23 billion dollars) linked to its recent acquisition of troubled rival Carige Bank CRGI.MI.

BPER has announced that it is entering into exclusive negotiations with Gardant to sell the salvage business with a total of €2.5 billion in bad debts, also entering into a 10-year partnership.

Rothschild advised Gardant on the transaction.

Reuters had reported from sources that Gardant had partnered with AMCO, which enjoys lower funding costs than its peers because it is wholly owned by the Treasury.

BPER says net profit for the six months to June was 1.38 billion euros compared to 501.81 million euros a year ago.

Excluding one-time boost related to the purchase ofmake bones VSmoney at a discount to its book value, net profit amounted to €316.6 millions.

Revenue was up 11.8% year over year, driven by higher net interest income and higher net commissions.

($1 = 0.9772 euros)

(Reporting by Andrea Mandala and Valentina Za, editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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