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Vatican bank agrees to pay a failed bank's creditors

The Vatican bank has signed a tentative accord calling for the institution to pay $250 million to the creditors of Italy's largest private bank, the Italian news agency ANSA said Monday. The agency said a final accord could be signed by the end of this week.

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ANSA, quoting sources in the financial community, said Vatican officials reached the tentative agreement with the liquidators of the collapsed Banco Ambrosiano and its foreign creditor banks Sunday.

Ambrosiano's 1982 collapse, the largest in postwar Italy's history, arose from problems over $1.3 billion in unrecovered loans to Panamanian companies nominally owned by the Vatican bank. Vatican officials have denied any wrongdoing and said they were victims of a ''hidden project'' by Banco Ambrosiano's late president, Roberto Calvi.

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