Italy - Factors to watch on Feb. 28

Thu Feb 28, 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 POLITICS

An Italian political crisis that has rattled the euro zone deepened on Wednesday when two party leaders ruled out the most likely options to form a government and avoid a new election.

Populist leader Beppe Grillo slammed the door on overtures from centre-left boss Pier Luigi Bersani with a stream of insults while Nichi Vendola, Bersani's junior coalition partner, ruled out a government alliance with the centre-right.

ITALY BOND AUCTION

Italy's borrowing costs rose to their highest in four months on Wednesday at the first bond auction since this week's inconclusive election but solid demand from domestic investors eased fears that the political deadlock could destabilize Europe's second-biggest sovereign debt market.

* SNAM

Italian gas transport group Snam said on Thursday it posted a 7.8 percent rise in operating profit last year, beating market forecasts.

ENI, SAIPEM

U.S. activist investor Knight Vinke has sent a letter to Eni asking for an immediate separation of its oilfield services unit Saipem, several newspapers reported on Thursday.

SARAS

The refiner said on Thursday its core earnings in the fourth quarter slumped 69 percent, missing expectations, on flagging refinery margins and weak demand.

* MEDIASET

Its unit Mediaset Espana said on Thursday its full-year profit dropped by 55 percent to 50.1 million euros due to plummeting advertising spending in Spain as firms hold back on publicity in a dire economic environment.

FINMECCANICA

Italian public prosecutors questioned former Finmeccancia head Giuseppe Orsi for a second time on Wednesday in a probe into alleged corruption in an Indian helicopter tender, legal sources said. During the questioning, Orsi re-affirmed that the Indian tender did not violate any rules. The sources said Orsi's lawyer will present a request on Thursday to release the former executive from jail.

TELECOM ITALIA MEDIA

The Italian broadcaster Telecom has postponed approval of the sale of its flagship La7 network to media company Cairo Communication to March 4, the company said on Wednesday.

BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI

The Italian treasury is working to meet a March 1 deadline for granting a 3.9 billion euro state bailout to Monte dei Paschi, the country's third-biggest lender, a source close to the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

* UNICREDIT

The Turkish competition watchdog is mulling fines for $828 million on a group local banks, including UniCredit's unit Yapi Kredi, as part of an investigation into possible fixing of interbank rates, Il Sole 24 Ore reported. The newspaper said UniCredit strongly deies any wrongdoing.

PRYSMIAN

The world's largest cables maker said on Wednesday its 2012 adjusted net profit rose 22.1 percent to 282 million euros because of good performance at its energy cables business.

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

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