Quaestio Capital Management sgr has been appointed as the asset manager which will be in charge of the management of the Italian Government sponsored fund aiming at solving at once both the non performing loans and the capital increases issues for the Italian banking system (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
The news was announced by the asset management company yesterday evening (download herei the press release in italian) after a meeting held in Rome at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy and Finance chaired by minister Pier Carlo Padoan which was attended by top managers of all major Italian banks, banking foundations and insurance companies and Cassa Depositi e prestiti (the invesment arm of the Ministry)
Chaired by the well known economist Alessandro Penati and led by the ceo Paolo Petrignani (a former Ubs Wealth Management and JPMorgan manager), Quaestio Capital is controlled by the Luxembourg company Quaestio Holding sa, which in turn is owned by Fondazione Cariplo (37.65%), Locke srl (a company controlled by Mr. Penati, owning a 22% stake in Quaestio Holding), Cassa di Previdenza dei Geometri (18%), Direzione Generale Opere Don Bosco (15.60%) e Fondazione Cr Forlì (6.75%). Quaestio Capital management sgr now has about 10 billion euros of assets under management and is only focused on institutional clients.
The new fund, named Atlante, will have a target size of 5-7 billion euros but is going to start working with about 2,5 billions thanks to investments from Cassa depositi e Prestiti (just about 300 million euros, in order to avoid EU chargement of State aids), from Italian banking foundations (about 500 millions), from banks (Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Ubi Banca are said to be int he list for sure) and insurance companies (with Generali, Unipol Sai, Axa and Allianz that might be in the investors list).
If the fund is launched fast enough, it will be able to back Banca Popolare di Vicenza‘s 1.75 billion euros capital increase (which is actually already backed by Unicredit) which is going to start next April 18th and the following Veneto banca’s capital increase. This is to avoid that all struggling Italian banks would end to receive offers from international private equity funds as the one put forward from Apollo Global management for Banca Carige, which consists in a bid for the bank’s Npls portfolio and the underwriting of a significat stake in the proposed capital increase (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
As far as the activity of the new fund is concerned, the press released delivered by Quaestio capital explains that the targets of the Atlante fund are the following:
- guarantee the success of capital increases which the Supervision Authorities will ask Italian struggling banks to launch in order to act as a back stop facility
- solve the non performing loans issue. The Npls value that might be deconsolidated from banks’ books will be quite higher than the one of the Npls that might be acquired by the fund as Atlante will focus its investments on the junior tranches of securities coming from securitization of those Npls, with the senior tranches that are going to be sold on the market
The press release does not say anything about the acquisition price of the Npls from banks. However it is understood that the prices will be quite the same as the net value on the Npls on the banks’ books in a way not to cause new losses to banks. This will mean then that the denior tranches should be guarateed in some way in order to be appealing to international investors.