Italy - Factors to watch on Feb 20

Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:25am EST

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 (*).

*ITALY VOTE

Representatives of investment fund Blackrock will visit Italy from Thursday to speak to pollsters to glean information on who could win next week's national election, Corriere della Sera reports on Wednesday without citing sources. Polls have been blacked out ahead of the vote. The trip shows how important the election is to financial markets.

Italy's politicians on Tuesday stepped up their campaigns in the last few days before next weekend's election with the outcome deeply uncertain and up to a third of voters still up for grabs.

Fears are growing in Berlin that Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi may return to centre-stage after this weekend's election, imperilling Rome's reform drive and the euro zone's tentative emergence from its debt crisis.

Five days before national elections almost a third of Italians have yet to decide who to vote for or are considering not voting at all, a survey showed on Tuesday, highlighting uncertainty over the outcome.

FINMECCANICA

The defence company, at the centre of a probe into alleged bribery to win an Indian helicopter tender, said on Tuesday it was ready to cooperate with Indian authorities to clarify the matter.

UNICREDIT

Italy's biggest bank by assets plans to close an extra 350 branches - or nearly 10 percent of its network - by 2015, CEO Federico Ghizzoni said on Tuesday.

*TELECOM ITALIA

The telephone company has postponed plans to issue up to 3 billion euros ($4 billion) in hybrid bonds, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday without citing sources. The heavily indebted company said last Friday it planned to raise up to 3 billion euros in costly hybrid securities and halved its dividend to help fund its infrastructure spending.

The holding company that controls Telecom Italia, Telco, said on Tuesday it had written down the value of its controlling stake in the Italian operator by 920 million euros ($1.23 billion).

TELECOM ITALIA MEDIA

Telecom Italia hopes to close a deal over the sale of its TV network to Cairo Communication "within a couple of weeks", its Chairman Franco Bernabe said on Tuesday.

IPO

Pianoforte holding, owner of colourful underwear brand Yamamay and handbag maker Carpisa, is looking to a stock market flotation in 2015 to fund its expansion abroad, the chief executive of the two brands said.

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FTSE IT allshare index

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

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

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