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UPDATE 2-San Marino hires banks for 300 million euro bond issuance

(Adds confirmation from finance minister)

MILAN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - San Marino has mandated JP Morgan and Credit Suisse to sound out investors over a 300 million euro bond issue, its finance minister said on Tuesday, as the tiny state landlocked inside Italy seeks to shore up its finances.

“The banks will hold a roadshow starting this week ahead of a potential 300 million euro issue,” Finance Minister Marco Gatti told Reuters, confirming an earlier report from a trader.

“They will update investors over measures we have included in the latest budget law,” he added.

The banks will hold calls with investors from Wednesday to Friday on the three-year senior bond, which will be rated BB+ with a negative outlook by ratings agency Fitch, the trader said earlier on Tuesday.

Credit Suisse declined to comment and JP Morgan was not immediately available for comment.

San Marino, whose banking sector is struggling because of a large pile of non-performing loans, already sought to tap markets in October last year with a five-year bond but a deal did not surface after the investor meetings.

Back then, San Marino was aiming to raise 300 million euros to help reorganise the liabilities of lender Cassa di Risparmio of San Marino and repay debt to the central bank to shore up liquidity in its banking system, according to an offering document sent to investors at that time. ($1 = 0.8264 euros) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Elvira Pollina, additional reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Abhinav Ramnarayan and Alex Richardson)

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