Banca Gen­er­ali to meet an­a­lysts’ 2010 earn­ings fore­casts

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

MI­LAN: Banca Gen­er­ali SpA, the fund man­ager con­trolled by As­si­cu­razioni Gen­er­ali SpA, Italy's biggest in­surer, ex­pects to meet an­a­lysts' es­ti­mates for 2010 profit af­ter adding clients and low­er­ing costs. Banca Gen­er­ali's net in­come will be close to the av­er­age es­ti­mate of 75 mil­lion eu­ros ($99 mil­lion) made by 11 an­a­lysts sur­veyed by Bloomberg, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Gior­gio Girelli said in a phone in­ter­view. "We ex­pect to meet an­a­lysts' fore­casts, helped by lower costs and higher man­age­ment fees."

The com­pany is fore­cast­ing that 2010 op­er­at­ing costs may have dropped 4 per­cent to 5 per­cent, with rev­enue likely in line with the 252 mil­lion eu­ros gen­er­ated in 2009, Girelli said.

Banca Gen­er­ali, which said on Nov. 5 that nine-month profit rose 32 per­cent to 60 mil­lion eu­ros, is fo­cus­ing on in­ter­nal growth and doesn't plan ac­qui­si­tions. The Tri­este, Italy-based com­pany is try­ing to gain mar­ket share in Italy by adding cus­tomers from com­mer­cial banks.

"Higher net in­flows have the same ef­fect as mak­ing an ac­qui­si­tion," Girelli said. "At the moment we don't see any in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­nity for ex­ter­nal growth, our strat­egy is based on pur­su­ing grow­ing re­cur­ring rev­enue," he said. Higher fee in­come will off­set lower rev­enue from lend­ing and trad­ing, he said. Girelli is aim­ing to keep a "gen­er­ous" div­i­dend pol­icy, though a de­ci­sion will be taken by share­hold­ers in March. Banca Gen­er­ali dis­trib­uted a cash div­i­dend of 45 cents on 2009 earn­ings. The bank's new clients dou­bled in the first nine months of the year. The com­pany doesn't dis­close the num­ber of its cus­tomers. The as­set gath­erer, which hired about 55 em­ploy­ees this year, aims to add 50 bankers in 2011, Girelli said.

He ex­pects to in­crease the av­er­age in­vest­ment port­fo­lio of each banker from the cur­rent 15 mil­lion eu­ros to about 16.5 mil­lion eu­ros next year. -Bloomberg

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