Italian companies ask for $ 20 billion in state-guaranteed loans – credit agency

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MILAN (Reuters) – Large Italian companies have asked for 18.5 billion euros ($ 20 billion) in state-guaranteed loans to overcome the coronavirus crisis, the export credit agency said on Saturday supported by the SACE state.

Last month, the Italian government approved a package of emergency measures providing liquidity and bank loans to businesses affected by the health emergency.

One of the measures allows medium and large companies to apply to SACE to guarantee new bank loans, provided the companies refrain from approving the payment of dividends for one year.

The credit agency said banks have so far received 250 applications for state-guaranteed loans. He pledged to act quickly to ensure new funds are available for cash-strapped businesses, adding that once he receives a request from a bank he could issue the guarantees within 48 hours. .

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SACE said it had already given the green light to requests for 30 million euros in loans.

The motorway and airport units of the infrastructure group Atlantia and the big box retailer OVS are among the companies that have expressed interest in such loans.

More than 30,000 people have died from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy since the crisis began in February, the third highest death toll in the world.

Rome, which shut down all businesses deemed non-essential before May 3, forecast a full-year GDP decline of 8% this year, before a partial rebound of 4.7% next year.

($ 1 = 0.9225 euros)

Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Pravin Char

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