Italy - Factors to watch on Jan. 30

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:46am EST

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The following factors could affect Italian markets on Wednesday.

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

BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

The bank's risk control unit and its internal audit committee had expressed serious misgivings about the bank's finance department, now at the centre of a scandal about shady structured finance trades, as far back as November 2009, according to internal documents.

The Bank of Italy's review of the bank shows no need for the troubled lender to be placed under special administration, the Italian economy minister told parliament on Tuesday.

The Bank of Italy was carrying out intensive checks over the mounting problems at the troubled Monte Paschi bank by late 2009 but sanctions against top bank executives came only after they had left the lender in 2012, a Bank of Italy document showed.

INTESA SANPAOLO, UNICREDIT, UBI BANCA , BANCO POPOLARE

Fitch affirmed on Tuesday the ratings of the four large Italian banks, citing the banking sector's ability to manage the difficult operating environment in Italy.

Fitch said its outlook on the sector is negative as earnings remain under pressure amid a low-interest rate and high loan impairment charges.

FIAT

* Italian carmaker Fiat-Chrysler is likely to miss its debt target when it reports 2012 earnings on Wednesday, making it harder to pay for an ambitious expansion and boost its stake in U.S. affiliate Chrysler.

The Italian automaker is among the most shorted stocks across Europe ahead of its earnings, expected on Wednesday. Its stock could be vulnerable to a "short squeeze" higher. Weighted against analysts' track records, Thomson Reuters StarMine data suggests Fiat profit will be 456.8 million euros on Wednesday, a predicted positive surprise of 2.8 percent compared with the regular consensus and one which could fuel a rally if short-sellers rush to cover their positions.

SAIPEM

The Italian oil service group said on Tuesday it had cut its 2012 guidance after a review of the group's contracts and prospects. It said it expected operating profit (EBIT) in 2012 to be about 6 percent lower than previous forecasts at around 1.5 billion euros ($2.02 billion), and that it expected a net profit of around 900 million euros in 2012.

FINMECCANICA

A group of managers of Japanese group Hitachi Retail have met representatives of Finmeccanica over their interest in AnsaldoBreda unit, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday citing union and market sources.

ATLANTIA

The motorways group dismissed as "baseless" press reports on Tuesday with details of its planned takeover of Rome airport operator parent Gemina, a deal seen worth around 1.1 billion euros.

UNICREDIT

The Italian bank said on Tuesday it would sell a up to 9.1 percent in its Polish unit Pekao to institutional investors through an accelerated book building process. The sale will boost its Core Tier 1 ratio by between 10 and 13 basis points.

Separately, it also said it will fold its Baltic state operations into its regional headquarters in Latvia, closing branches in Estonia and Lithuania.

AUTOGRILL

Citigroup raises target price to 11 euros from 9 euros; rating "buy"

LUXOTTICA

The world's biggest premium eyewear maker by sales, said sales at the start of 2013 showed positive trends after strong demand in North America helped sales to meet forecasts last year.

The owner of Ray-ban and Oakley brands said on Tuesday fourth-quarter sales rose 8.2 percent at current exchange rates to 1.63 billion euros ($2.2 billion), a touch less than an average estimate of 1.64 billion euros by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. [IT:nI6N0AK00N]

Separately, it said it is looking for another strong year in 2013 after sales rose across all regions last year, including in crisis-hit Italy.

SEAT PAGINE GIALLE

Stock market regulator Consob said late on Tuesday it has banned short selling of the stock of the yellow pages provider as of January 30.

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