Dutch bank ABN AMRO in Milan is starting up a joint asset management operation with the Padua-based Antonventa Group, which controls the Banca Antonana Populare Veneta. It has a 400 branch network mainly in Italy's north east region.

Henk Ruitenberg, managing director of the new company says that the new 50/50 venture Antonveneta ABN AMRO, which is awaiting a banking licence, will include SCIMCO, the Milan-based brokerage and asset management company in which the Dutch group acquired a majority stake during 1994.

Antonveneta also has a small asset management division, which specialises in domestic assets, mainly bonds. We are bringing together the distribution power of Antonveneta and the global resources of ABN AMRO," he says."