More than 10 Italian banks are looking to apply for the European Central Bank's new three-year loans to banks on Wednesday by using state-guaranteed bonds as collateral, a source close the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.
A second source confirmed all leading Italian banks had requested state guarantees for bank bonds under a new scheme launched by Italy's emergency government, aimed at lowering funding costs for lenders.
There has been interest in state-guaranteed bonds. There have been requests by more than 10 banks that were approved. Banks are doing this...to present it as collateral for the ECB loans, one of the sources said.
The ECB is launching its first ever offer of unlimited, ultra-cheap three-year funding to banks on Wednesday, to make it easier for banks to roll over large amounts of debt due to mature in the first quarter as interbank markets tense up and uncertainty grows.
(Reporting by Luca Trogni, Paola Arosio, Gabriella Bruschi; editing by Silvia Aloisi)