Italy - Factors to watch on March 25

Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:27am EDT

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 (*).

*CYPRUS DEAL Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders to shut down its second largest bank, Popular Bank of Cyprus , and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians, in return for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout.

*ITALY POLITICS

Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani worked over the weekend to see whether he can win backing in parliament to form a government and end the political impasse.

Monday Bersani will meet with unions, and then will hold a new round of meetings with political parties Tuesday and Wednesday with the goal of winning political backing to form a government by Thursday.

Silvio Berlusconi, the 76-year-old leader of Italy's centre-right bloc, told thousands of supporters gathered in central Rome on Saturday he was ready for a snap vote as his rival Bersani began talks to try to form a government.

DEBT AUCTIONS

Treasury sells zero coupon bonds and eurozone index-linked fixed rate bonds. Subscriptions close at 1000 GMT.

BANKS

The Bank of Italy is checking the adequacy of write-downs made by a large number of big and mid-sized lenders and had asked for correction measures when necessary, said Bank of Italy deputy director general Fabio Panetta. He said the central bank had asked banks to slash costs, also by using new technologies, sell non-core assets and adopt coherent dividend policies to boost profitability, beef up their balance sheets and keep lending to the real economy.

BANCO POPOLARE

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut its long-term credit ratings on the Italian mutual bank Banco Popolare by one notch to the non-investment grade level of 'BB+', citing concerns over credit losses amid Italy's economic downturn.

POP MILANO

Bank executives met Bank of Italy officials in the central bank's headquarters in Rome on Friday to talk about their plans to overhaul the mutual lender's corporate governance and launch a 500 million-euro rights issue to beef up its balance sheet, Corriere della Sera said on Saturday in an unsourced report.

GENERALI

The Bank of Italy on Friday transferred its 4.5 percent stake in insurer Generali to Italy's state-controlled fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), in exchange for shares in FSI.

Two sources close to the board of Generali's largest investor, Mediobanca, said on Friday the new board of the insurer will include 11 members and confirm Mario Greco and Gabriele Galateri as CEO and chairman respectively. There is time until April 2 to present the lists for Generali's board renewal.

RCS MEDIAGROUP

The publisher's first rights issue is expected to be worth 400 million euros, sources close to its shareholders said on Friday. This cash call would be followed by a second rights issue of 200 million euros at a later date. One of the sources said Fiat, Mediobanca and Rotelli were expected to take up their share of the issues, while Generali and the Benetton family could opt out.

TELECOM ITALIA

Investor Marco Fossati said on Friday he was unhappy about the telecoms group's performance and that Telecom Italia, of which he holds a stake of 4.98 percent, deserved a batter management, Corriere della Sera and other newspaper reported on Saturday.

ENI

It declared force majeure and ordered the closure of its onshore activities in the "so-called" Swamp Area located in the Bayelsa State in Nigeria during the night between March 21 and 22, the company said on Saturday.

*PRELIOS

The heavily-indebted property company said late on Friday it will hold a board meeting on March 27 to approve full-year results. Prelios' main shareholder, indirectly, is Pirelli . Italian newspapers reported last week that Prelios had reached a deal on recapitalization and debt restructuring, which could be approved at the March 27 meeting.

IMA

The company signed on Friday a deal to sell its entire stake in Stephan Machinery GmbH to funds managed by private equity investor Deutsche Beteiligungs AG for an equity value of 40.4 million euros, IMA said in a statement.

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