Italy - Factors to watch on January 24

Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:01am EST

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Friday.

Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).

POLITICS

Beppe Grillo, the former comic who leads Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, on Thursday hit out against plans to reform the country's voting rules, describing them as tailor-made to block his party's rise.

ECONOMY

ISTAT releases November retail sales data (0900 GMT).

Italy could raise 8 to 10 billion euros ($10.9 billion-$13.7 billion) in privatisation revenues in the next two years to ease pressure on its strained public finances, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Thursday.

Italy's economy likely grew in the final three months of 2013, Saccomanni added.

DEBT

Treasury announces sale of BOTs, with relative amounts to be auctioned on Jan. 29.

COMPANIES

BANKS

Germany and France have attacked European Union plans to curb banks' ability to take market bets with their own money, warning that this could jeopardize a delicate economic recovery, a paper seen by Reuters showed.

MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Thursday he saw "zero" chance of the bank being nationalised. * The capital increase procedure has been restarted and the banks in the previous underwriting consortium have signaled their willingness to guarantee the cash call, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

ENI

Italy's government is studying the possibility of reducing its stake in the energy group to below 30 percent, but not immediately, Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said on Thursday.

* BANCA POPOLARE DI MILANO

The bank needs governance reform after which the planned capital increase can take place, the CEO Giuseppe Castagna said in an interview in Il Sole 24 Ore. The bank's core tier 1 will rise to more than 10 percent from 7.25 percent after the cash call. He said there were no acquisition plans on the table at the moment.

Former chairman of the bank's management board, Andrea Bonomi, said he welcomed the appointment of Giuseppe Castagna as the lender's new chief executive. He added that it would be known "within the next few days" if a planned capital increase would be subscribed to or not.

INTESA SANPAOLO

The deputy chairman of the bank's supervisory board told La Stampa he was not concerned about the asset quality review of the ECB.

* RISANAMENTO

Italian property company Risanamento said on Friday it had accepted an offer from Chelsfield/The Olayan Group to buy a portfolio of property located in Paris for 1.225 billion euros ($1.68 billion)

HERA

A merger between Italian regional utility Hera and smaller peer Amga was approved by the boards of the two companies on Thursday, Hera and Amga said in a statement.

SAIPEM

The Italian oil service company has bid for the job of scrapping the hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which capsized off the Tuscany coast more than two years ago, a source close to the matter said on Thursday.

GENERALI

Andrea Bonomi confirmed the talks between Bi-Invest and Generali to buy a majority stake in asset management group Thalia, controlled by Swiss Bsi, which in turn is owned by Generali. Bonomi added that the transaction could be concluded within the next 60 days.

POSTE ITALIANE

Italy's government leaves the option open to sell more than the planned 40 percent of Poste Italiane, a draft of a cabinet decree showed on Thursday, according to a government source.

FIAT

With planned investments, the carmaker has demonstrated its willingness to keep strong roots in Italy, industry minister Flavio Zanonato said on Thursday.

* DIASORIN

The company said on Friday it had obtained approval of hepatitis, retrovirus and syphilis tests on its Liaison XL platform in China.

ALITALIA

Air France-KLM will look at reinvesting in Italian carrier Alitalia if the conditions it set for its restructuring are met, the Franco-Dutch airline's chief executive said on Thursday.

ROBERTO CAVALLI

The company said on Friday a baord meeting scheduled for Friday would not discuss any sale of the group.

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

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