EU asks Italy whether Bank of Italy revaluation contains aid to banks

ROME Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:26am EST

ROME Feb 28 (Reuters) - The European Commission has asked Italian authorities whether a decree hiking the value of the Bank of Italy's share capital could constitute state aid to banks, a spokesman said on Friday.

"I can confirm that the Commission has asked Italian authorities for information about the decree-law of 30 November 2013 introducing changes to the capital of and shareholdings in the Bank of Italy, in order to assess whether it could contain state aid to certain banks," said spokesman Antoine Colombani.

"This is simply a request for more information which of course does not prejudge in any way the substance of our assessment."

Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit could cash in up to 3.5 billion euros ($4.79 billion) combined from the sale of stakes in the central bank after a revaluation of BOI's share capital by the Italian government last month, according to analyst calculations.

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