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Loss deepens for Italy's BMPS despite bailout

© AFP/File | Founded in Siena in 1472, BMPS has been in deep trouble since the eurozone debt crisis and is now majority owned by the Italian state

MILAN (AFP) - 

Italy's troubled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) suffered an even deeper loss in 2017 despite being bailed out, according to information released Friday.

The net loss of 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) was worse than the 3.2 billion loss it registered last year, and worse than the average of 3.2 billion euros expected by analysts according to Factset Estimates.

The 502 million euro loss in the final quarter of last year was double what analysts had been expecting.

Founded in Siena in 1472, BMPS has been in deep trouble since the eurozone debt crisis and is now majority owned by the Italian state.

An EU-approved bailout saw 5.4 billion euros of public money injected into the bank and many bondholders forced into becoming shareholders.

The funds are to help the bank to absorb losses on 28.6 billion euros of bad loans the bank must sell off by 2021.

It said the total volume of bad loans at the end of the year was essentially unchanged from September at 45 billion euros.

The world's oldest bank is to also cut a fifth of its workforce by 2021, although it plans to do so without forced layoffs. Nearly a third of its branches are to be shuttered.

Weakened by the disastrous purchase in 2007 of the Antonveneta bank, BMPS quickly drifted into scandal when its management team was accused of fraud and misuse of funds.

© 2018 AFP