Italy - Factors to watch on February 19

Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:45am 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

Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi began the delicate task of trying to form a new government on Tuesday, facing questions about how he will fill key ministerial posts and the details of his ambitious reform agenda.

DEBT

The gap between Italian and German 10-year government bond yields fell below 190 basis points on Tuesday to hit its lowest level since July 4, 2011, before the country got engulfed in a euro zone-wide sovereign debt crisis.

COMPANIES

* ALITALIA

Shareholders at a meeting agreed to change to scrap from the company's by-laws a clause that would force whoever buys more than 50 percent to launch a takeover, several Italian media said. The change is expected to pave the way for the purchase of a large stake by Gulf airline Etihad. The closing of the deal is expected to take place at the end of April at the earliest, says Il Sole 24 Ore.

* SAIPEM

Norwegian company Subsea 7 said to be interested in taking a 20 percent stake in Saipem, says MF.

FINMECCANICA

The defence company is in talks with U.S. conglomerate GE for the sale of its engineering unit Ansaldo STS. Finmeccanica would like to sell to GE also certain activities of loss-making train-maker Ansaldo Breda. The remaining activities of Ansaldo Breda would be placed in a 'bad company', says Corriere della Sera.

SALINI IMPREGILO

The Panama Canal and a Spanish-led construction consortium expanding the major global waterway discussed options on Tuesday to keep the multibillion-dollar project afloat amid a dispute over costs, but any deal seemed unlikely ahead of a looming deadline.

ITALIAN BANKS AND INSURERS

Moody's Investors Service late on Tuesday affirmed the ratings and changed the outlook to stable from negative of seven Italian banks, including UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo , and two insurance groups - Generali and Unipol, following its outlook upgrade on Italy's sovereign rating.

POP ETRURIA, COOPERATIVE LENDERS

Banca Popolare di Vicenza is to tap shareholders for 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) and looks set to use the cash to buy another bank, a move that may trigger a much-anticipated wave of mergers among smaller Italian lenders.

FIAT

Ferrari is the world's most powerful brand, asset valuation agency Brand Finance said on Tuesday, ranking the luxury carmaker higher than other top consumer names such as Google or Coca-Cola.

PRELIOS

The company said on Tuesday non-executive board member Annachiara Svelto had resigned.

ASSICURAZIONI GENERALI

The board of Generali, which meets later on Wednesday, is expected to take legal steps against its top management over a number of investments in loss-making alternative investments, several media said.

MEDIOBANCA

Holds main shareholders' pact meeting; board meeting on H1 results, followed by conference call (1630 GMT).

BUZZI UNICEM

The cement maker said on Tuesday it had signed a strategic deal with Wietersdorfer whereby it will transfer one of its plants to a subsidiary of the Austrian group and buy 25 percent of two of Wietersdorfer's units.

VITTORIA ASSICURAZIONI

Holds board meeting on 2013 premiums.

For Italian market data and news, click on codes in brackets:

20 biggest gainers (in percentage)............

20 biggest losers (in percentage).............

FTSE IT allshare index

FTSE Mib index........

FTSE Allstars index...

FTSE Mid Cap index....

Block trades..........

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

For pan-European market data and news, click on codes in brackets: European Equities speed guide................... FTSEurofirst 300 index.............................. DJ STOXX index...................................... Top 10 STOXX sectors........................... Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................... Top 10 Eurofirst 300 sectors................... Top 25 European pct gainers....................... Top 25 European pct losers........................ Main stock markets: Dow Jones............... Wall Street report ..... Nikkei 225............. Tokyo report............ FTSE 100............... London report........... Xetra DAX............. Frankfurt market stories CAC-40................. Paris market stories... World Indices..................................... Reuters survey of world bourse outlook......... Western European IPO diary.......................... European Asset Allocation........................ Reuters News at a Glance: Equities............... Main currency report:...............................

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