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Italian banks in talks with BlackRock over Carige deal

FILE PHOTO: The Carige bank logo is seen in Rome, Italy, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian banks are in talks with BlackRock over a possible deal to salvage troubled lender Carige, the head of a depositor guarantee fund financed by the banks said on Wednesday.

Italian banks used a voluntary-contribution scheme set up under the depositor fund to come to Carige's rescue in November. The scheme bought a 320 million euro (£277 million) hybrid bond needed to boost the bank's total capital ratio. A conversion into equity of the bond would now support BlackRock's rescue plan for Carige.

A conversion is now "very likely" but no decision has been taken yet, the depositor guarantee fund's President Salvatore Maccarone told reporters after a meeting over the issue, adding talks with BlackRock were ongoing.

(Reporting by Giancarlo Navach, writing by Davide Barbuscia, editing by Valentina Za)