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Italy - Factors to watch on Aug. 31
The following factors could affect Italian markets on Friday.
Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).
Asian shares fell to four-week lows on Friday as investors cooled expectations that U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will offer any signal of a further monetary stimulus at a speech before fellow central bankers later in the day.
Economic uncertainty in Europe is rising "massively" as growth prospects worsen, especially for debt-strapped southern euro zone members, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said. �
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA
Italy may end up with a double-digit stake in struggling Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena under a rescue package for the country's third biggest lender that could significantly dilute existing shareholders.
Monte dei Paschi CEO Fabrizio Viola told Il Sole 24 Ore said the large writedown on past acquisitions that have pushed it into the red in the second-quarter will be the last one. The CEO says new investors could enter the bank capital only after 2014, when the group is expected to be again profitable.
GENERALI * Singapore's sovereign funds Temasek and GIC are looking at the Asian operations of Generali's Swiss unit BSI, which is on sale, Italian daily Il Messaggero said on Friday. The paper said Munich RE could be interested in Generali Usa Life Reassurance, another asset the insurance company put on sale.
Indian and Chinese groups could be interested in buying Generali's Swiss unit BSI, Il Sole 24 Ore said in an unsourced report. The paper also mentions Swiss private banking giant Julius Baer as a potential suitor.
The group may consider issuing a convertible bond before credit lines for 1 billion euros expire in 2013, Il Sole 24 Ore said without quoting sources.
* RCS's shareholders' pact could end before its natural deadline of March 2014 if the company launches a right issue, MF said.
Government officials meet representatives from Swiss giant Glencore in a last-ditch attempt to avert the planned closure of Italy's biggest aluminium smelter in Portovesme, which belongs to Alcoa.
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