Italy - Factors to watch on March 17

Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:37am EDT

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

Italy's new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi meets German premier Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday for the first time since he took over as head of the government.

Renzi is expected to try to sound out Merkel on the possibility of obtaining some budget flexibility for Italy, to help fund his promised tax cuts.

The Italian government plans to offer fiscal incentives for investments in broadband internet infrastructure, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday.

Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi said in an interview with the paper that the government was preparing a bill that would treat investments in virtual infrastructure in the same way as those in industrial infrastructure like motorways, which already enjoy tax benefits.

COMPANIES

UNIPOL, ALLIANZ

The Italian insurer agreed on Saturday to sell assets with premiums worth about 1.1 billion euros ($1.53 billion) to Germany's Allianz, a move it said would allow it to comply with Italian regulators.

GENERALI, JULIUS BAER

Swiss private bank Julius Baer could be among bidders interested in buying Generali's Swiss private banking arm BSI, which the Italian insurer has been trying to sell for more than three years, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday.

Generali and Julius Baer declined to comment on the report.

* UNICREDIT

Italy's biggest bank by assets plans to sell or float its Pioneer Investments asset management unit, valued at over 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion), as part of a wider disposal programme, the Financial Times reported.

SORGENIA

Creditor banks and companies exposed to loss-making energy company Sorgenia, owned by family holding company CIR, will meet on Monday to discuss the company's restructuring before Sorgenia holds its own board meeting, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday.

FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES

The automaker should see a better first quarter than it had last year, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Friday.

SALINI IMPREGILO, SACYR

A consortium led by Spain's Sacyr has signed a deal to complete work on widening the 100-year-old Panama Canal, it said on Friday, settling a long-running dispute over cost overruns that had put the multi-billion-dollar project in jeopardy.

ENI

Italian oil and gas group Eni said on Saturday its Gela refinery on the Mediterranean island of Sicily was working normally after a fire earlier in the day.

PARMALAT

Italian market regulator Consob is examining the minutes of the dairy company's board meeting to better understand the resignation of a majority of the company's board members in February, Corriere della Sera reported on Sunday.

INTESA SANPAOLO

Italy's biggest retail bank could combine its Intesa Sanpaolo private banking arm with Fideuram, another private banking unit it owns, and make further acquisitions to create a private banking entity controlling 200 billion euros, Il Messaggero reported on Sunday without citing sources.

Intesa Sanpaolo declined to comment on the report.

AMPLIFON

The hearing aid maker expects to raise its capital expenditure to 33-35 million euros in 2014 from 30 million euros in 2013, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday.

SEA HANDLING

The European Commission said state-owned Milan airport operator SEA must sell a stake of more than 51 percent in its ground-handling unit SEA Handling in order to avoid paying a fine imposed in 2012 over payments between the parent and the subsidiary which the EU said were incompatible with state aid rules, La Repubblica reported on Sunday.

No one from the European Commission was immediately available to comment. SEA could not be reached for comment.

TAMBURI INVESTMENT PARTNERS

The independent investment bank plans to issue a bond worth 100 million euros in April and ask for a further 15 million euros in capital from its shareholders, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday.

Chief executive Gianni Tamburi told the paper that a planned listing of upmarket food chain Eataly, of which TIP bought 20 percent earlier this month through its shared vehicle Clubitaly, would not come before Milan hosts the World Expo in 2015.

CREDITO EMILIANO

Conference call on FY results (0900 GMT).

Board meetings on FY results: ALERION CLEAN POWER, ENI (preliminary FY results on Feb. 12), M&C, MOLMED, TAS.

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

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