Italy - Factors to watch on February 22

MILAN Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:58am EST

MILAN Feb 21 (Reuters) - The following factors could affect Italian markets on Friday.

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

ITALY VOTE

An inconclusive result in Italy's elections this weekend could prompt an even bigger sell-off in some markets than the return to power of scandal-mired Silvio Berlusconi, who led the country to the financial precipice in 2011.

Separately, a sharp fall on the Milan stock market hit European shares on Thursday, with uncertainty over this weekend's Italian elections pushing a key euro zone equity index to its lowest level since the start of 2013. Silvio Berlusconi's resurgence and the rise of a foul-mouthed populist comedian have thrown Italy's weekend election wide open, with deep uncertainty over whether the poll can produce the strong government the country needs. 

FINMECCANICA

The Italian defence group has delayed publication of its 2012 results after a bribery probe connected with the sale of 12 helicopters to Indian authorities, it said on Thursday.

Finmeccanica, as expected, said it examined the sale of its AnsaldoEnergia unit and did not make a decision.

It named Daniele Romiti as the chief of its helicopter unit, replacing Bruno Spagnolini, who was arrested earlier in February with Finmeccanica's former CEO as part of the probe.

MONTE DEI PASCHI

Italy's top audit court has ruled that the state's plan to loan 3.9 billion euros to troubled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is legitimate, the court said in a statement.

A Rome administrative court ruled on Thursday the state's plan to lend 3.9 billion euros ($5.16 billion) to troubled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena can go ahead, a source close to the matter told Reuters. * TELECOM ITALIA, TELECOM ITALIA MEDIA

Cairo Communicaions hopes to finalise the contract to buy the La7 network of Telecom Italia Media by the weekend, Il Corriere della Sera said.

According to Il Sole 24 Ore the deal could involve TI Media paying 95 million euros to recapitalise La7.

Telecom Italia is threatening to lay off 5,500 people over two years, Il Messaggero said, citing trade union sources.

TENARIS

Tenaris, the world's biggest producer of seamless steel pipes for the energy industry, said on Thursday that fourth-quarter net income fell 18 percent from a year earlier but its 2012 net still ended 20 percent higher versus 2011.

PIRELLI

Pirelli head Marco Tronchetti Provera is sounding out investors for a possible takeover bid of holding company Camfin, which controls Pirelli.

CARRARO

Carraro said on Friday it had

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FTSE IT allshare index

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

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

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