Lisa Jucca is a Milan-based Breakingviews columnist and writes about Italy, EU-Asia issues and private banking. She joined in January 2017 from Reuters, where she was Asia Finance Editor. A long-term Reuters reporter and team leader, she was Italy’s Chief Financial Correspondent throughout the euro zone crisis and EMEA Wealth Management Correspondent during the fall of Swiss bank secrecy. Previously, she had grappled with bitter cross-border merger battles and witnessed the launch of the euro in Brussels and London. Her work on secretive Vatican-China talks has been commended by SOPA. She studied at the Catholic University of Milan and Cambridge University.
Banco BPM sold 5 billion euros of dud loans for 34 percent of face value, amongst the highest prices to date. Rosy valuations and the ECB’s more lenient stance on disposals are a boon for lenders. But buyers risk downplaying the threat posed by Italy’s radical government.
Fewer people are coming from Africa, but managing immigration is the EU’s main political issue. A unified push to screen refugees in third countries could help prevent a full-blown crisis. By contrast, piecemeal solutions in Germany and Italy would be costly and ineffective.
The country’s election and its turbulent aftermath contributed to a sharp drop in capital markets activity. Despite still-buoyant M&A, total investment banking fees are down 30 pct year-on-year. This is bad news for banks, but worse still for local companies seeking funding.