MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's top four banks and state agencies CDP and Sace have agreed the guidelines under which they would cooperate to provide guarantees for 7 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in railway projects, they said in a joint statement.
Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, BPER and Banco BPM as well as state investor CDP and credit exports agency SACE have agreed to join forces to provide the guarantees that general contractors bidding for infrastructure projects need to be able to obtain to ensure they have sufficient financial means.
The banks and the state agencies would each still carry out an independent credit risk assessment at the moment of providing the guarantees, but having multiple potential providers already lined up should speed up the process.
The railway projects would be part of Italy's infrastructure investments to be backed by European Union's post-pandemic recovery funds.
However, Italy, the biggest beneficiary of the EU's 724 billion euro ($774 billion) post-pandemic recovery fund is struggling to meet the goals laid down by Brussels to receive the money and is falling behind with implementation of its projects.
($1 = 0.9355 euros)
(Reporting by Valentina Za, Editing by Louise Heavens)