CORRECTED-Monte Paschi chairman warns against delaying capital hike

Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:15pm EST

(Corrects quote in second paragraph)

ROME Dec 17 (Reuters) - A delay in a 3 billion euro ($4.12 billion) capital increase for troubled Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena past January would cause great uncertainty and could force the bank to be nationalised, its chairman said on Tuesday.

"As of today, we are sure of being able to do it," Alessandro Profumo told reporters, adding however that if the capital hike did not go through, "we enter a zone of great uncertainty".

"It could be that if we are unable to do it, the bank would then be nationalised," he said.

The bank's management and its top investor have disagreed over the timing of the capital increase, with the board voting against a proposal from Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena to delay it to May from January. ($1 = 0.7283 euros) (Reporting by Alberto Sisto; writing by Naomi O'Leary; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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