Italy - Factors to watch on Jan. 24

Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:56am EST

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Thursday.

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

ITALY ECONOMY

Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti defended his reform efforts in front of an audience of the world's financial elite on Wednesday and accused past governments of plunging Italy into a spiral of unemployment and stagnation.

Fiscal adjustment in Italy has been painful but the country has regained market confidence, a senior International Monetary Fund official said on Wednesday.

The IMF cut on Wednesday its gross domestic product forecast for Italy, saying it expects it to shrink by 1 percent this year compared with a contraction of 0.7 percent it forecast in October.

BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA * Losses relating to structured trades at Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena are around 720 million euros ($956.23 million), the bank's Chief Executive said in an interview on Thursday.

Italy's N.3 bank said on Wednesday it was reviewing three loss-making structured trades made in 2006-09 after its shares plunged for the second day in a row on fears of a mounting shortfall in its accounts.

Seeking to reassure investors, the Tuscan bank said the 500 million euros it requested in extra state aid in November would be enough to absorb a hit on its capital from those trades.

The banks is expected to hold a board meeting on Thursday.

* INTESA SANPAOLO

The bank has already covered its funding for 2013, CEO Enriso Cucchiani told Il Sole 24 Ore. He also said the bank will not opt for early repayment of cheap funds borrowed from the ECB through its long-term refinancing operation.

* ENI

Cyprus will issue licences to a consortium comprised of Italy's ENI and South Korea's Kogas on Thursday for the exploration of hydrocarbons in three areas off the east Mediterranean island, its energy minister told Reuters.

EUROPEAN BANKS

The European Central Bank (ECB) and European Banking Authority (EBA) are aiming to carry out a joint stress test on Europe's major banks in September, sources told Reuters.

UNICREDIT

The Italian lender plans to cut about 1,000 jobs at its German unit by the end of next year in a bid to slash costs at its ailing retail bank, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

UNIPOL, FONDIARIA-SAI

Italy's Unipol will shed 2,200 jobs as a result of its plans to merge with peer Fondiaria-SAI to create Italy's No 2 insurer, a trade union official said on Wednesday.

FINMECCANICA * The deadline for bids for unit AnsaldoEnergia will take longer than expected and are seen arriving before mid-Feb, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

No decision has been taken on the sale of AnsaldoEnergia unit at a board meeting on Wednesday and it was not clear whether the company had received any binding offer, company sources said.

Franco-Italian regional aircraft maker ATR, jointly owned by Finmeccanica and Airbus-owner EADS, forecast a 25 percent rise in deliveries this year as it works through a $5.1 billion order backlog representing nearly three years' of production.

TOD'S

Italy's luxury shoemaker said on Wednesday sales rose 7.8 percent in 2012 to 963.1 million euros ($1.28 billion), helped by a good performance in Greater China.

The results were roughly in line with a Thomson Reuters Starmine forecast for average sales of 966 million euros.

LOTTOMATICA, SNAI

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, known for its provocative advertising and innovative gambling products, projected a slot machine on the Milan stock exchange on Wednesday to promote its expansion in the growing online Italian gambling market.

The Dublin-based group said it aims to become one of the top five online bookmakers this year in the growing Italian market, dominated by local operators Lottomatica, privately owned Sisal, and Snai.

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20 biggest gainers (in percentage)............

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FTSE IT allshare index

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

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