Italy - Factors to watch on January 27

Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:37am EST

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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 (*).

POLITICS

Italian Agriculture Minister Nunzia De Girolamo resigned on Sunday, following heavy criticism after she was caught on tape discussing public contracts, adding a further complication to Prime Minister Enrico Letta's fragile coalition.

ECONOMY/DEBT

Italy's cabinet approved a decree on Friday paving the way for the privatisation of up to 40 percent of the post office as the government tries to bring down its huge public debt.

The listing of a 40 percent stake in Italy's Poste Italiane, approved on Friday, could come in September or October, slightly later than targeted by the government, the head of the state-owned post office told a newspaper.

COMPANIES

BANCO POPOLARE

The cooperative bank said late on Friday it would launch a 1.5 billion euro rights issue in the first half after posting a bigger-than-expected loss of 600 million euros in 2013 hit by large loan loss provisions.

The rights issue should be launched at the beginning of April, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday.

Banco Popolare has joined the queue of Italian lenders planning to tap investors for cash to repair loan-ravaged balance sheets before results are announced from a Europe-wide sector health check.

* HSBC cuts Banco Popolare to underweight and cuts price target to 1.44 euros from 1.47 euros ; Nomura cuts target price to 1.50 euros from 1.60 euros; rating reduce

TELECOM ITALIA

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris would be prepared to invest in Telecom Italia as long as the group's biggest shareholder, Telefonica withdraws, but he is not in direct talks with either company, he told Bloomberg News.

In an interview with a Brazilian newspaper last week, Sawiris said that he would be prepared to bid for TIM ParticipaƧƵes if it were sold but was keen to avoid seeing the unit split off from Telecom Italia.

* CNH

The company said its CNH Capital subsidiary has completed its offer to exchange $500 million of 2017 notes.

BANCA POPOLARE DI MILANO

The top investor in the cooperative bank said on Friday it had progressively sold on the market its entire stake.

CARIGE

The bank is considering hastening plans for a rights issue following Banco Popolare's surprise announcement of a 1.5 billion euros cash call, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday without citing sources. The bank is readying its 2013 results and would then call a board meeting to approve them, together with a new business plan and the rights issue.

UNICREDIT

CEO Federico Ghizzoni told Il Sole 24 Ore on Sunday the bank was not worried about the situation in Turkey following the lira drop but it had to continue monitoring it.

VENETO BANCA

* Its chief executive, Vincenzo Consoli, said in an interview with La Repubblica's insert Affari & Finanza on Monday the bank would take into consideration proposals for a merger.

He said possible merger options will be assessed with adviser Goldman Sachs.

ALITALIA

Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi told la Repubblica on Saturday he was "realistic, not optimistic, at this crucial stage," when asked whether he was optimistic about the Italian airline's chances of being taken over by rival Etihad. Lupi also said he was confident a strategic plan for Italian airports could be approved by the summer.

* Il Messaggero said on Monday Alitalia's bank creditors have agreed to inject 200 million euros into the troubled airline, a move that could help tie-up talks with Etihad.

A2A

The regional utility continues to target costs cuts to reduce its debt after managing to push it below 4 billion euros at end-2013, Il Sole 24 Ore said in its Sunday's Letter to the investor.

STMICROELECTRONICS

Announces Q4 results after NYSE closure.

DIARY

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta meets Spanish counterparty Mariano Rajoy in Rome on Monday. News conference at 1400 GMT.

Treasury announces sale of BTPs, with relative amounts to be auctioned on Jan. 30.

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