MILAN 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)