MILAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The derivative exposure of Italian energy firms stood at 87 billion euros ($90.5 billion) as of mid-November, sharply up from 60 billion euros a year earlier, a central bank report showed on Friday.
Sums that companies are required to deposit to open a derivative contract - known as margin calls - have more than doubled in the course of 2022 reaching 12 billion euros from 5 billion euros last year, the Bank of Italy said in its twice-yearly Financial Stability Report.
Counterparties of the derivative contracts include eight banks, five financial institutions and 203 non-financial firms, the report showed.
Out of the total, the top 20 counterparties account for more than 95% of the overall gross exposure.
Italian lenders have a modest exposure to energy derivatives. These account only for 0.3% of their overall derivatives exposure, and short- and long-positions are "well balanced".
Two thirds of the gross exposure relates to contracts that are settled through a central counterparty, while the rest is settled over the counter (OTC) and consists mostly of commodity swaps.
The share of contracts centrally settled has fallen by 16 percentage points from last year as the increase in exposure has taken place mostly via riskier OTC contracts, the Bank of Italy said.($1 = 0.9614 euros)
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