Italy - Factors to watch on Feb. 4

Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:51am 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 (*).

ITALY ELECTION

Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi announced his "last great electoral and political battle" on Sunday with a sweeping promise to cut taxes and the cost of government if his centre-right wins elections this month.

* TELECOM ITALIA

The former telecoms monopoly will present a cost-cutting plan worth 1.3 billion euros when announcing its updated industrial plan on Feb. 7, La Repubblica reported on Monday. Telecom Italia will try to avoid to spin-off its fixed-line network.

* AUTOGRILL

The world's biggest airport retailer expects its revenues to rise slightly to 6.1 billion euros in 2013, La Repubblica reported on Monday.

MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

A plan by Italy's central bank to use bonds to bail out the troubled Monte Paschi bank can go ahead, a court ruled on Saturday, as a scandal surrounding the world's oldest lender looked likely to widen three weeks before a national election.

Separately, big-name London hedge funds Odey Asset Management and Egerton Capital are among those upping their bets against Monte dei Paschi di Siena in recent days, after revelations the troubled Italian bank faces heavy losses.

Italian prosecutors are investigating derivative trades made by five of the country's biggest banks, judicial sources said on Friday, as part of an investigation that began at least a year ago before the current Monte dei Paschi scandal erupted.

Monte dei Paschi, UniCredit, Intesa Sanpaolo, BNL and Credem are being investigated by a court in Trani, a small town on the southeastern coast of Italy, over derivative trades, judicial sources told Reuters on Friday.

Magistrates in three cities investigating the Tuscan bank were poised to issue new summonses for more witnesses to give information next week following testimony by a raft of bankers in the past few days, leading newspapers said on Sunday.

SAIPEM

The chief executive of the oil services company Umberto Vergine told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday he was unaware that Merrill Lynch sold a 2.3 percent stake in the company the day before Saipem's profit warning last week. He said Saipem plans to hold a presentation in London in April so that investors can meet the new management.

* Italian stock market regulator Consob will meet with executives from Saipem on Monday.

FIAT

New car sales in recession-hit Italy fell 17.58 percent in January from the same month a year ago to 113,525 vehicles, Italy's Transport Ministry said on Friday. In December, car sales plunged 22.5 percent, bringing the total decline for 2012 to 19.87 percent.

U.S. auto sales rose 14 percent in January, kicking off the industry's fourth straight year of recovery since the depths of recession as American consumers increasingly sought to replace their aging cars and trucks. Fiat owns nearly 60 percent of Chrysler.

January was the third straight month that the annual U.S. auto sales rate held above the 15 million mark, with a 15.3 million pace last month, according to industry research firm Autodata.

For Italian market data and news, click on codes in brackets:

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

20 biggest losers (in percentage).............

FTSE IT allshare index

FTSE Mib index........

FTSE Allstars index...

FTSE Mid Cap index....

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

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

For pan-European market data and news, click on codes in brackets: European Equities speed guide................... FTSEurofirst 300 index.............................. DJ STOXX index...................................... Top 10 STOXX sectors........................... Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................... Top 10 Eurofirst 300 sectors................... Top 25 European pct gainers....................... Top 25 European pct losers........................ Main stock markets: Dow Jones............... Wall Street report ..... Nikkei 225............. Tokyo report............ FTSE 100............... London report........... Xetra DAX............. Frankfurt market stories CAC-40................. Paris market stories... World Indices..................................... Reuters survey of world bourse outlook......... Western European IPO diary.......................... European Asset Allocation........................ Reuters News at a Glance: Equities............... Main currency report:...............................

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