Italy - Factors to watch on Jan. 21

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:00am EST

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 (*).

ITALIAN POLITICS

Prime Minister Mario Monti launched his campaign for a second term on Sunday with a speech calling for deep-rooted reforms to kick start economic growth, four weeks ahead of a parliamentary election.

Italy may need additional austerity measures early this year to meet its public finance goals unless its European partners accept a deficit overshoot, Treasury Undersecretary Gianfranco Polillo said on Friday.

ITALIAN BANKS

The International Monetary Fund will conduct stress tests on Italy's banks in the spring as part of a broader assessment of the country's financial stability, an IMF spokeswoman said on Friday.

On Monday a team of IMF officials will visit the headquarters of Italy's biggest banks in Milan as the Fund starts its Financial Sector Assessment Program in the country.

Bank of Italy is doubtful about the possibility to create a bad bank for Italian lenders, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday.

* UNICREDIT

SocGen raises target price to 4.5 euros from 3.6 euros; rating "hold"

* INTESA SANPAOLO

SocGen raises target price to 1.25 euros from 1 euro; rating "sell"

* BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

SocGen raises target price to 0.18 euros from 0.12 euros; rating "sell"

* BANCO POPOLARE

SocGen raises price target to 1.6 euros from 1.15 euros; rating "hold"

* UBI

SocGen raises target price to 4.1 euros from 2.9 euros; rating "hold"

TELECOM ITALIA, TELECOM IT MEDIA

Italian private equity fund Clessidra is still bidding for the country's third-largest commercial broadcaster, Telecom Italia Media, after its partner Equinox pulled out, a source close to the matter said on Sunday.

MEDIASET

The recent rally posted by shares in Mediaset is supported by investor expectations of "progress in the future" for Italy's largest commercial broadcaster, the owner of Mediaset and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Sunday in a TV interview. Berlusconi added he is not involved any more in the company's management.

ENI

The Italian energy group could ask for an arbitration against Norway's Statoil on gas pricing, Corriere della Sera reported on Sunday.

* Credit Suisse raises target price to 22 euros from 20.7 euros

* FIAT

In an interview with the Financial Times, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne reiterated Fiat and Chrysler "need to be one car company at some point in time".

"The desire to bring the two companies together, plus the lack of ideal listing conditions for the stock position, make the hold thing hard, but we will comply," the CEO said.

Marchionne also said Europe's car surplus is "seeding the air for one hell of a hurricane" unless something is done.

MERIDIANA

An review that is being conducted by the company may reveal the need to hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting to discuss a capital hike, the carrier said in a statement on Saturday.

PIRELLI, CAMFIN

Marco Tronchetti Provera, who controls the tyremaker Pirelli through a complex ownership structure that includes the holding Camfin, is exploring the possibility that Qatar's sovereign wealth fund could launch a takeover bid on Camfin, La Repubblica reported on Saturday.

According to the newspaper, the Italian businessman is also holding talks with Chinese tyremaker Hangzhou Zhongce to discuss the sale of a stake in Pirelli to the Asian company.

RCS MEDIAGROUP

The media company is sounding out Italian and foreign banks to organise a capital increase which could be worth 400 million euros, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday. The cash call may take place after Italian general election scheduled on Feb. 24-25.

INTESA SANPAOLO

The Italian lender will likely not repay early the 36 billion euros it got from the European Central Bank through the Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO), Il Sole 24Ore reported on Saturday.

IREN

The company Director and Vice President Luigi Giuseppe Villani resigned on Saturday from all his positions in the Iren Group with immediate effect, the regional utility said.

FINMECCANICA

The Italian aerospace and defence group confirmed 2012 targets including a positive free cash flow after ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating to junk on Friday.

S&P cut Finmeccanica's long-term corporate credit rating to BB-plus from BBB-minus with a stable outlook, as the state-owned conglomerate missed its target for 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of asset disposals by the end of 2012.

GENERALI

Brazilian-Swiss bank Safra and a Chinese bank are among the three bidders for Generali Swiss private bank, BSI, in a deal worth 2 billion euros ($2.66 billion) that could help the Italian insurer shore up capital levels, two people familiar with the situation said on Friday.

ITALY-SWITZERLAND TAX DEAL

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said on Friday that he expects to reach a tax deal with Italy soon and that he hopes that Feb. 24-25 parliamentary elections will not interrupt talks.

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FTSE IT allshare index

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Block trades..........

Stories on Italy...... IT-LEN

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