The Bank of Italy has introduced changes to Chapter XII of its Regulations concerning the issue of bonds by Italian banks. These have the effect that the existing distinctions made between different types of issuing banks according to their capital base have been abolished. As a consequence, banks with a capital base of less than L50 billion (US$ 196 million) are now allowed to issue bonds with a denomination of at least L5 million provided that the issue has 'market characteristics'.
To have market characteristics the issue must be for an amount of at least L300 billion or meet all of Consob's requirements for the listing:
- for issues of bonds not having 'market characteristics', the required denomination, which was originally at least L100 million, is now L20 million;
- the maturity of the bonds may be of less than three years, provided their average maturity does not fall below 24 months; and
- the early redemption option must be specifically indicated in the relevant offering circular and may not be used earlier than 18 months from the issue date.