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€ 18.3 billion in loans guaranteed by the State of UniCredit in early December

FRANKFURT, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – In early December, UniCredit granted around € 18.3 billion ($ 22 billion) in state-guaranteed loans and suspended payment on debt worth nearly 25 billion euros, said a senior executive at the Italian bank.

In comments to Reuters, UniCredit Commercial Banking Western Europe CO-CEO Olivier Khayat said that € 13.4 billion in state-guaranteed loans had been disbursed in Italy, which also accounted for 20, 3 billion loans under moratorium.

UniCredit is also present in Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe.

Figures to be compared with 14.2 billion euros in loans guaranteed by the State for the group as of September 30, and 29 billion euros in outstanding amounts under moratorium at the time.

Khayat said UniCredit expects the economy to rebound strongly from the pandemic-induced crisis by the end of the current quarter or the start of the next.

“But that doesn’t mean there won’t be casualties,” he said. “Everything … with the export exposure will recover. Everything related to tourism and transport will still be difficult. “

Under the leadership of outgoing CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, UniCredit has taken a very cautious approach to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, aggressively increasing provisions for loan losses once governments lift the programs. Support.

UniCredit has guided an annual “cost of risk”, that is, the ratio of loan losses to average loan volumes, which implies around € 2 billion in provisions in the fourth quarter.

“You have to… be honest. We have taken the right steps based on our assessment of the situation, ”Khayat said.

Commenting on consolidation trends in the industry, Khayat said it would be inevitable at some point because “you cannot serve an economy that is almost the size of the United States with a fragmented banking market like Europe’s. “.

At the same time, “we have to be careful not to speculate too much about the structure and nature of the industry. While you are doing this, you put the pen on the table and you do nothing else. We are open for business, ”he said.

$ 1 = 0.8234 euros Report by Patricia Uhling, written by Valentina Za Editing by Robert Birsel

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