Italy - Factors to watch on December 18

Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:46am EST

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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 (*).

POLITICS

The leader of the Democratic Party (PD), the biggest in the ruling coalition, called on the government to scrap a measure that would raise government revenues by making it more expensive for online companies like Google to do business.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced measures on Tuesday to reduce chronic prison overcrowding and speed up the notoriously slow pace of civil court cases as his government made a start on a long-promised reform of the justice system.

EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told Il Messaggero he was confident that newly found political stability in Italy would help structural reforms.

ECONOMY

The man charged with shaping the economic policy of Italy's centre-left under its new leader Matteo Renzi on Tuesday vowed a programme of radical spending and tax cuts that he said would transform the country.

COMPANIES

Milan Bourse after hours trading closed.

MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

A delay past January in a 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion) capital increase for the troubled Italian lender would cause great uncertainty and could force the bank to be nationalised, its chairman said on Tuesday.

BANCA POPOLARE DI MILANO

The mid-tier lender said on Tuesday it would not pay quarterly dividends on its preferred securities on the next payment date of Jan. 2, 2014.

UNICREDIT, MEDIOBANCA

Italy's biggest bank by assets has paid back 5 billion euros of the cheap liquidity it acquired from the European Central Bank so far, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Federico Ghizzoni also said a plan by French investor Vincent Bollore to possibly increase his stake in Mediobanca should be regarded as "friendly" and does not create any problems for UniCredit.

* TELECOM ITALIA

The phone group needs a capital increase of 3-5 billion euros, activist shareholder Marco Fossati told Corriere della Sera. State lender CDP could be a good partner for the group, he said, adding he was ready to work with shareholder Telefonica if the Spanish telecoms group showed it "cared about" Telecom Italia.

A 48-hour deadline by which U.S. asset manager BlackRock has said it would provide updated information about its stake in Telecom Italia expires on Wednesday.

SAFILO

The luxury eyewear maker said on Tuesday it had appointed Henri Blomqvist, previously at Procter & Gamble, as its new Global Commercial Director.

EXOR

The holding company controlling carmaker Fiat said it had bought a portion of its 5.375 percent Notes due in 2017, leading to the cancellation of a notional amount of Notes worth 60 million euros. The oustanding notional amount is now 690 million euros, it said late on Tuesday.

ALITALIA, INTESA SANPAOLO, UNICREDIT * Etihad may submit its offer for the Italian carrier on Monday, La Stampa reported citing talks in financial circles. The paper says Etihad does not want to take on some unguaranteed debts it found when going through Alitalia's books.

The owner of Colombian airline Avianca is considering taking over Italian airline Alitalia or Polish state-owned LOT to boost his presence in Europe, he was quoted as saying in a Polish newspaper on Tuesday.

RCS MEDIAGROUP

The publisher has asked creditor banks a waiver on a 600- million euro refinancing agreement sealed in May as it wants to use only a quarter of the 120 million euros it cashed in from the sale of its Milan offices to pay back debt, Il Messaggero reported.

MONTEFIBRE

Holds annual and extraordinary shareholder meeting (0900 GMT); followed by board meeting on H1 results. The stock is suspended from trading ahead of a statement, the Milan stock exchange said on Wednesday.

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

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