The market is unsure of the potential effectiveness of
Italy’s long-awaited new direct lending regime for
alternative investment funds (AIFs).
Under the new rules, EU-domiciled AIFs may, subject to
certain conditions, lend directly to Italian borrowers. These
funds must pre-register with the central bank, and will be
subject to the same transparency obligations applicable to
banks and financial intermediaries.
"People have been talking about
this for a long time, and I think the reality is it fell short
of expectations," said
Giuseppe de Palma, managing partner for Italy at
Clifford Chance. "I think they were hoping for something
Approaches to direct lending by AIFs vary wildly across
Europe. While the UK government is keen to promote the activity
and its somewhat liberal regime reflects this, attitudes are
entirely different throughout much of continental Europe where
the lending environment remains heavily dominated by banks.
The Alternative Investment Fund...