Our shareholders is an element of strength and continuity

June 5, 2012 4:52 AM

Our shareholders is an element of strength and continuity

The first Italian bank by total assets (held to 18 by the agricultural credit) is not the intention to waive its status of leader in the peninsula. A month after the dramatic step of its main competitor, UniCredit, which launched a CFS of 19.2 billion euro on German HVB, Banca Intesa, presented Wednesday, its new strategic plan 2005-2007. In addition to a target of net income of EUR 3 billion and a rate of return on capital (RoE) of 20 in 2007, the plan provides 2 billion euros of investment in new customer services. After having largely restated its results for three years (with a new increase of 45 in the first quarter), the group led by Corrado Passera attaches ambition to be among the five banks in the euro area, in terms of profitability.

"We want to be among the five best European banks in terms of return on capital and dividend," emphasized CEO of Banca Intesa, Corrado Passera, recalling that the Group has already improved profitability in three years (with 1.88 billion euros of net result in 2004).

Among its main objectives, Banca Intesa wishes to maintain an annual average growth rate of 16 of its operating margin, while reversing more than EUR 2 billion of dividends to its shareholders in 2007 (compared with EUR 1.5 billion this year). In this context, the group chaired by Giovanni Bazoli will continue to focus on retail banking which already represents 71 of its activities, against 51 in 2001.

"We did not fear to say that we still want to develop in Italy where we still see strong growth potential," said Corrado Passera. On the other hand, it provides no operation of external growth in scope, "Apart from a few acquisitions in the countries of the East".

After Delta Banca in Serbia and ABS Banka in Bosnia, Banca Intesa particularly wishes to complement its network in Turkey, Romania and Ukraine. "Our plan we consent to invest between 2 and 3 billion euros in Central and Eastern Europe", said Corrado Passera. But the plan remains mainly focused on internal growth through an effort of renovation of agencies (approximately 500 over three years) and the testing of the continuous schedule, a novelty in the peninsula.

Without excluding the arrival of foreign operators on the Italian market, the leaders of Banca Intesa pronounce clearly for a policy of "targeted partnerships". "". Our shareholders is an element of strength and continuity. "Integration between banks can be realized through partnerships on products, as we have with the Credit Agricole," said Giovanni Bazoli, referring to the recent transfer by Banca Intesa for 65 of its arm of Nextra to Crdit Agricole asset management.

Caboto assignment step

For the time being, Corrado Passera excludes any "plan of reconciliation" with the French group, denying any proposed sale of its brokerage Caboto subsidiary. On the strategic alliance with Lazard Italia knotted in 2002, the pattern of Banca Intesa has minimized the impact of the planned break in 2007 (announced by the Bank of affairs in his "filing" the dry). "It is an option." In any event, it is a very limited alliance and we have two years to decide on our relationship with Lazard.

Despite a difficult environment, with a forecast of GDP growth Italian of 0.2 in 2005 ( 1.4 in Europe), Banca Intesa intends to participate in the recovery of the economy in the peninsula. "We want to demonstrate that the system banking Italian can be an engine of the recovery to the point where the country is experiencing a moment of stagnation," said Giovanni Bazoli. A way to ask in pillar of the "country system" at the point where its main competitor launches the attack of the German market and Central Europe.