Italy - Factors to watch on October 29

Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:33am EDT

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Monday.

Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).

EURO ZONE CRISIS

European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi backed a proposal by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to radically expand the powers of the European Union's monetary affairs commissioner giving Brussels greater control over member states budgets.

Spain has no immediate need of help from the European Central Bank's new bond-buying programme and should try to refinance itself before requesting aid, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out public investors accepting a debt restructuring, or "haircut", on their Greek bonds but said in an interview to be aired on Sunday that a debt repurchasing programme could be considered.

ITALY ELECTIONS

Voters in the Southern region of Sicily went to the polls on Sunday to elect their local government in a key test of popular mood ahead of general elections next spring.

Less than 50 percent of voters showed up against just below 60 percent at a previous 2008 election. The vote will also be a test for the strength of the anti-austerity Five-Star Movement, led by comedian Beppe Grillo.

Former premier Silvio Berlusconi's threat to bring down Italy's government underscores deep divisions in his centre-right party ahead of next year's elections and risks rattling markets which see Prime Minister Monti as Italy's saviour.

ITALY DEBT

The Treasury will auction on Monday 8.0 billion of 6-month BOT bills.

* Italy could more rapidly return to grow if the spread between the yields of its 10-year government bonds and German equivalent bonds steadied at around 300 basis points, the Bank of Italy's deputy chief said on Saturday.

TOBIN TAX

The government is mulling changes to its plan to introduce a tax for transactions on shares and derivatives on Jan. 1 amid concerns the tax could hit Italy's financial marketplace, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday without citing sources.

* Deputy central bank head Fabrizio Saccomanni sait on Saturday Italy's planned version of the Tobin Tax had some defects.

RCS MEDIAGROUP

The publisher is set to launch a capital hike of between 500 million and 800 million euros in February-March, according to La Repubblica's Affari e Finanza.

MEDIASET

Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in jail by an Italian court on Friday for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his television company.

MEDIOBANCA

Italy's leading investment bank Mediobanca is considering further cutting its equity holdings to reduce earnings volatility. The bank nearly doubled its first-quarter net profit.

FINMECCANICA

Finmeccanica reiterated it has always done business in India through official channels, rebutting media reports its helicopter unit had used two agents to secure a contract.

FIAT

Italy remains an integral part of Fiat's strategy, Fiat Chairman John Elkann told Italian President Giorgio Napolitano according to several Italian newspapers on Saturday.

* ENI

ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni tells Corriere Economia in an interview on Monday an aggressive summer discount campaign for prices at the pump in Italy has costed the oil giant 160-170 million euros.

* GENERALI

Bank of Italy deputy head Fabrizio Saccomanni said in an interview with Corriere Economia on Monday the central bank, which is taking over oversight of the insurance sector from regulator ISVAP, is looking at ways to eliminate its conflict of interest in Generali, in which it has a 4.5 percent stake.

FONDIARIA-SAI, UNIPOL

The president of insurance regulator ISVAP Giancarlo Giannini, under investigation for his role in the merger of Unipol and Fondiaria-SAI, offered his resignation but the government turned it down, Italian newspapers reported on Saturday.

CAMPARI

The CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said in an interview with Milano Finanza the group had the financial power for further acquisitions but wanted to focus on integrating Lascelles in the short term.

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