Monte Paschi's top shareholder trims stake to just below 30 percent

MILAN Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:14pm EDT

A man walks on a logo of the Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena bank in Rome September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

A man walks on a logo of the Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena bank in Rome September 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

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MILAN (Reuters) - The top investor in Italy's No.3 bank by asset, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI), has sold shares worth 40.6 million euros ($56.35 million) on the market, equivalent to 1.6 percent of the bank's market capitalization, regulatory filings showed.

The sale took place in three tranches on March 6, 7 and 10, coming on the heels of a 20-percent market rally on March 5 that traders said had been triggered by speculation the investor, a cash-strapped charitable foundation, was selling down its bank holdings.

Earlier on Monday, the Aleotti family, Monte dei Paschi's second-largest investor, said it had slashed on March 5 its 4 percent stake to around 1 percent.

($1 = 0.7205 euros)

(Reporting by Lisa Jucca, editing by Stephen Jewkes)

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