Founding family rules out taking company private
Trims inflows forecast, ups interest income outlook
Plans to launch senior bond to continue to grow dividends
MILAN, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Banca Mediolanum's
controlling family shareholder has no plans to take it private
or merge its asset manager, its CEO Massimo Doris said, despite
an economic slowdown which has forced the Italian lender to trim
its 2022 inflow target.
"I believe - and so did my father - that being listed means
being more of an institution, especially for a branchless bank
like ours," Doris, whose family owns 40.4% of Banca Mediolanum
, told Reuters in an interview.
Other wealthy Italian families have moved to buy out other
investors in the companies they control this year, notably the
Della Valles who aim to delist luxury shoemaker Tod's.
The Benettons, meanwhile, have decided taking Atlantia
private is the best way forward for the infrastructure group.
Doris took charge in 2008 of the firm his father Ennio
launched as a network of financial advisers in 1982 with the
financial backing of close friend and former Italian Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Mediolanum, which became the first Italian bank to offer its
services over the phone, is seen as an attractive takeover
target. Last year it rebuffed a merger proposal from merchant
bank Mediobanca, of which it owns 3.5%.
"In five years' time, I see Banca Mediolanum still
independent and quite a bit bigger," Doris said.
After years of stellar growth, Italy's asset management
sector has seen inflows slow as recession and inflation fears
rattle financial markets.
In the first seven months, Banca Mediolanum's inflows into
more profitable managed assets fell 19% year-on-year, compared
with a 61% decline for a peer group made up of rival Fideuram
, FinecoBank, Banca Generali and
Mediolanum now forecasts 2022 inflows into managed assets at
around 5.5 billion euros for Italy and Spain, down from a
previous estimate of 6 billion euros, Doris said.
However, rising interest rates will drive net interest
income above an initial target of 340 million euros to 390
million in 2022, rising further to 600 million in 2023, Doris
Mediolanum, which has been under the oversight of the
European Central Bank (ECB) since Jan. 1, also is considering
launching a senior bond.
"We want to gain some extra room for manoeuvre without
impacting dividends," Doris said.
Mediolanum has pledged to increase dividends by two cents a
year and it is looking to pay 48 cents a share on 2022 earnings.
(Editing by Valentina Za and Alexander Smith)