MILAN Feb 9 Gross bad loans at banks based in Italy - a major problem for lenders in the country after a long recession - remained roughly stable in December at 201 billion euros ($225 billion) but lending to companies returned to shrink, data showed on Tuesday.
The Bank of Italy said lending to non-financial companies dropped 0.7 percent year-on-year in December after a 0.2 percent rise the previous month - which had marked the first increase in three and a half years.
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