Giuseppe Castagna, ceo of Banco Bpm, currently sees no banks interested in doing “anything” in terms of M&A. On the subject, therefore, he has nothing to say “because today I do not see any banks on the market interested in doing anything. This is why we were pushed to present a stand alone plan and we are very happy to be stand alone”, said the banker during the conference call with analysts on the accounts for the first nine months of 2021 and on the new 2021-2024 business plan. “We are totally confident of being able to reach our targets”, he added, leaving, however, the door open to a possible merger: “we continue to be very careful to look at every possibility of extracting value from any merger that should arise. “, Castagna specified.
Then he clarified that Banco BPM has not snubbed anyone, it simply did not consider a merger with MPS due to its “important numbers” and because it is interested in “opportunities to deal with banks that have already been restored”. Castagna, in fact, explained that “we did not feel like entering into an operation so complicated both in terms of size and as an asset, while Unicredit has a very different size to be able to deal with such an operation. We didn’t look at it because we didn’t it seemed possible for our size, but we always said we were available to examine some particular geographic areas, in case it was decided not to make a one-off sale. ”
Conversely, if Banco Bpm did not go to the bottom of the hypothesis of an M&A transaction with Carige and through its “small” dimensions. On the other hand, making a merger is complicated, “the market does not understand them well if they are not clearly increasing in value. We have always achieved what we had promised and unfortunately the size of Carige does not allow such an operation. And a lot. small and it would take a long time to grow. It would not change us much compared to our size. Then in Liguria we are the second bank and in these negotiations we are also Fitd shareholders, so it becomes even more complicated, it does not attract us “.
As for the possible hypothesis of a consortium made up of the major players in the banking system to take over Mps, Castagna replied: “I am very respectful of the work the government is doing, and a very well prepared shareholder. We, in unsuspecting times, had given availability if we had to look at single parts. In terms of our generic contribution, but not of a specific interest in doing that operation “. Alone, however, Banco Bpm risks becoming prey. Unicredit, now that it has slipped away from Mps, is the number one suitor. Castagna sent him a not too veiled message: “You can’t buy something that is worth more at a discount price. Today, even with this plan, we had to make it clear what the bank is worth. barricades,
That said, it is not the deferred tax assets (DTA) that push for a banking risk, they are just an incentive. “In these 12 months, Banco Bpm has shown that it has an excellent position in terms of profitability, these are the drivers that must push in consolidation operations; the DTAs are an additional incentive. It was an incentive to close something that then does not exist. it was the opportunity to do “, observed the ceo of Banco Bpm, indicating that the macro situation greatly affects the aggregative context:” I have tried in many ways to stimulate talks because I am convinced that there are many synergies to be extracted; now we all have the opportunity to look within ourselves and understand whether to continue “. Certain that “the DTAs will not give the answer”.
So, focus for now on the new stand-alone 2021-2024 plan, which is characterized by ambitious objectives, but also achievable thanks to the consolidated track-record achieved in recent years, and guided by strategic priorities that aim to significantly remunerate shareholders. , to meet the expectations of the other main stakeholders (customers, colleagues, Supervisory Authorities) and to gather the opportunities offered by ongoing processes such as digitization and sustainability. All this with the aim “of further strengthening Banco Bpm’s competitive positioning as a solid bank in the country, a point of reference for families, businesses and communities”, said Castagna, ensuring that the plan “is based on sound preconditions for both concerns the recovery macroeconomic scenario,
The bank aims to go from 4.15 billion in revenues in 2020 to 4.6 billion in 2024, with an average annual growth (CAGR) of 2.4% and a 1.1% cut in costs that should be filed from 2.46 billion in 2020 to 2.4 billion in 2024. Net profit should rise from the adjusted 330 million in 2020 to 1.05 billion in 2024 (+ 33.4%), favored by a strong cost of risk drop, from 122 to 48 basis points. The Rote (profitability), at 3.2% in 2020, is expected to rise to over 9% in 2024. The group has also foreseen the voluntary exit of 1,600 employees, an increase of 500 people compared to the previous targets. A thousand releases have already been completed in the first half of the year. At the same time it will proceed with 800 new hires. In addition, the closure of more branches, 200 additional branches with respect to the previous targets is expected.
Finally, the net NPE ratio should decrease from 3.9% in 2020 to 2.5% in 2024, with a capital solidity index (Cet 1 Fully Loaded) expected from 13.3% from 2020 to 14.4% at the end. of the plan, when the payout ratio should be 40%. In reality, “our goal is to give more” in terms of payout, to be at the same level as our competitors “and” there is a lot of room to be more generous “, concluded Castagna, recalling that” our payout it has never been 40% so far unfortunately because when we were finally ready to pay it, the distribution of dividends in 2020 was prohibited. “On the stock market, after the CEO’s statements, Banco Bpm shares recorded a + 3.77% at € 2,865. , the best performance on the Ftse Mib. (reserved reproduction)

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