Italy - Factors to watch on December 30

Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:25am EST

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 (*).

ECONOMY

December business confidence data (0900 GMT) and December producer prices data (1100 GMT).

DEBT

The Treasury auctions 2.0-3.0 billion euros in five-year bonds and 2.0-2.5 billion euros in 10-year bonds.

A sale of six-month bills and zero-coupon bonds on Friday saw weaker demand and higher yields compared to a month earlier.

COMPANIES

MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

The troubled lender was forced to delay a vital 3 billion euro ($4 billion) share sale to raise capital until mid-2014 because of shareholder opposition, plunging its turnaround plan into uncertainty.

Chairman Alessandro Profumo said on Saturday he would decide whether to step down in January. * The head of the main investor in the bank told an Italian daily on Monday she hoped the bank's top executives would stay on. * An unnamed member of the foudation's steering committee was quoted as saying in Monday's Il Messaggero the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi would now try to progressively sell most of its stake at prices that from time to time it would consider adequate. The source added some of the banks in the consortium guranteeing the capital increase were ready to extend their commitment to June.

A Treasury spokesman said on Sunday the government's priority was to give the bailout money back to taxpayers and it had no interest in nationalising the bank, ANSA newsagency reported.

The economy ministry is considering whether to restart talks with Brussels over the conditions set in order to give a greenlight to the bailout of Monte Paschi, Il Sole 24 Ore reported said on Sunday citing ministry experts.

Italian bankers Carlo Salvatori and Divo Gronchi, former ECB policymaker Lorenzo Bini Smaghi and economist Piero Barucci were mentioned in the Italian press on Saturday as possible replacements for Profumo.

According to Il Messaggero Salvatori, close to Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni, is the frontrunner. Monte Paschi's CFO Bernando Mingrone would most likely replace CEO Fabrizio Viola if he too were to leave the bank, several newspapers reported on Saturday.

Fondazione Cariplo is still interested in buying a stake in the bank off the Fondazione Monte Paschi but diverging positions on the price to be paid must be reconciled first, Corriere della Sera and Repubblica reported on Saturday.

Possible alternatives to the capital increase are a possible re-sale of Antonveneta or an acquisition by either Credit Agricole or BNP Paribas, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote on Sunday.

Siena mayor Bruno Valentini told la Repubblica on Sunday that nobody would show Profumo the door but it would not be a shock if he left.

FIAT-CHRYSLER

Roon Bloom is negotiating on behalf of Fiat the sale of VEBA's 41.5 perceht stake in Chrysler with United Auto Workers Chief Bob King, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday, adding an accord is getting closer.

UNIPOL, PIRELLI

The insurer has sold its 1.85 percent stake in the tyre maker, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday.

UNIPOL, FONDIARIA-SAI

The final seal on a four-way merger to create UnipolSai is expected by Dec. 31 so that shares in the new company can start trading on the Milan bourse on Jan. 6, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday. However, Unipol may not consider adequate an offer by Belgium's Ageas for insurance assets it must sell for antitrust reasons before the merger.

BANCA POPOLARE DI VICENZA

The Italian mid-sized lender aims to boost its number of branches to 1,000 by end-2015 from 690 now through acquisitions, its chairman told an Italian daily on Saturday.

INTESA SANPAOLO, UNICREDIT, MONTE DEI PASCHI, UBI

The creditor banks have signed the final accord with holding company Carlo Tassara agreeing to restructure its 2-billion euro debt, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday. Tassara will sell all its stakes including 1.7 percent of Intesa, 1.4 percent of UBI, 1.1 percent of Monte Paschi, 1.2 percent of Mediobanca , 2.5 percent of A2A,and 0.7 percent of Generali.

BANCA POPOLARE DI SPOLETO, BANCO DESIO

Adviser Lazard and the special commissioners appointed by the Bank of Italy will select around Jan. 10 one of the two offers submitted for the bank, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday.

CIR

Creditor banks have granted Tirreno Power a delay in interest payments due on a 750-million euro debt that is being renegotiated after shareholders GDF-Suez and CIR's unit Sorgenia agreed to freeze around 50 million euros in credits owed to them by the generation company.

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