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Mediobanca posts full-year loss after writedowns

MILAN (Reuters) - Mediobanca (MIL:MB), Italy's best-known investment bank, ended its financial year in the red after heavy writedowns on financial investments such as Telecom Italia (MIL:TIT) and weaker revenues in its crisis-hit domestic market.

The bank said it will not distribute a dividend despite a relatively strong capital base complying with Bank of Italy recommendations, which bar loss-making lenders from paying dividends.

Mediobanca posted a net loss of 180 million euros in the year ending in June after writedowns of 404 million euros. It also increased its provisions for possible loan losses to 507 million euros, up 8 percent over a 12-month period.

The group said its core Tier 1 ratio, a measure of financial strength, stood at 11.7 percent at the end of June, slightly down from 12 percent three months earlier but still one of the highest in Italy.

Mediobanca, which has for decades played a pivotal role in helping forge Italian capitalism, announced in June a radical change of strategy that will see it curb or sell stakes in some of Italy's best-known companies to squarely focus on its banking business.

(Reporting by Lisa Jucca, editing by Silvia Aloisi)