Italy - Factors to watch on April 22

Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:01am EDT

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Tuesday.

Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).

POLITICS

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi cut taxes for 10 million low earners on Friday to try to boost household spending after a two-year recession, making good on a promise he made after taking office two months ago.

Renzi said in an interview with La Repubblica on Sunday that if his government succeeded in bringing about reforms, it should soon be able to also cut value added tax, and taxes for pensioners and Italians whose incomes are too low to require them to pay personal income tax.

ECONOMY

Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in an interview with Corriere della Sera on Sunday that he thought the Italy's gross domestic product would grow by more than 0.8 percent this year but it was impossible to estimate by exactly how much.

Padoan said the government was very confident planned spending cuts would allow it to save as much money as expected.

Italy's central bank said on Friday it was essential the European Central Bank ensures that inflation does not remain too low for too long in the euro zone.

DEBT

Treasury announces sale of BOT bills, with relative amounts to be auctioned on April 28.

Italy will continue to take advantage of the current strong demand for its debt from investors and may therefore reduce issuance later in the year, the head of debt management at the Treasury said on Thursday.

BANKS

Italy's banking association ABI called for a serious rethink of the government's decision to increase a tax on banks' stakes in the country's central bank, several newspapers reported on Sunday.

COMPANIES

FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES, GUANGZHOU AUTOMOBILE GROUP CO

Fiat Chrysler has reached an agreement to start producing Jeep vehicles in China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, the companies said on Saturday, as Fiat tries to catch up with competitors in a fast-growing market.

Maserati is mulling to launch a new version of its Quattroporte car for the China market, Fiat brand's Chief Executive Harald Wester was quoted as saying by daily La Stampa.

GENERALI

India's Larsen & Toubro Ltd said on Monday its unit had called off talks with Future Generali Insurance, a joint venture between local retail chain operator Future Group and Italy's Generali, to merge their businesses.

BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA

The bank's board approved on Friday a proposal to boost the size of a planned share sale to 5 billion euros to help cover any gaps a Europe-wide bank check might find in its finances.

Italy's Treasury may allow loss-making Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena more time to pay interest on a state bailout, to ensure the sum is paid in cash rather than in bank shares, Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday.

The administrative committee of one-time majority shareholder the Monte Paschi foundation is due to hold a meeting next week, Il Giornale and La Repubblica reported on Saturday. La Repubblica said the committee would decide at the meeting whether to subscribe to Monte Paschi's capital hike.

ALITALIA * The airline holds a board meeting at 1300 GMT on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, asked whether the government was closing a deal to secure investment in the struggling airline, said the government is working on it, La Stampa reported on Saturday.

Alitalia has responded to a letter from Abu Dhabi airline Etihad setting out conditions for a possible investment, newswire ANSA quoted Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi as saying on Friday.

Alitalia's response to Etihad proposes 1,000-1,100 layoffs, La Stampa reported. Etihad may accept 2,700 layoffs at the airline, Il Messaggero said, adding Alitalia has proposed 1,200.

Alitalia employees could be offered jobs in publicly-owned companies, La Stampa and Corriere della Sera reported on Sunday.

La Stampa said Etihad's investment in Alitalia could be lower than previously planned. Alitalia could offer Etihad a lower price to take a stake, Il Messaggero reported.

UniCredit, one of the airline's creditors, is willing to negotiate, provided fellow creditor Intesa Sanpaolo, other shareholders and the government agree take steps towards closing the deal, Il Messaggero said.

ENI

Russian president Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy market share.

Rosneft, Russia's top oil producer, has agreed to develop Russian Arctic hydrocarbon resources with Eni.

Russian and international oil and gas majors are cooperating as usual despite sanctions imposed over Ukraine, and Russia's South Stream gas pipeline project is going ahead, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

SORGENIA, CIR

The board of the struggling energy company may meet on April 28 or 29 to discuss its debt restructuring, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday without citing sources. Holding company CIR sent a letter to creditor banks to ask to discuss the terms of a potential 400 million euro capital increase for the company, the paper added.

SEAT PAGINE GIALLE

The Italian yellow pages company may cease to operate as last year's accounts showed "significant uncertainties", its auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said.

SIAS

The motorway, technology and construction group said on Friday it would pay a gross final dividend of 0.24 euros per share from May 2 2014.

MOVIEMAX MEDIA GROUP

The company said on Friday it had finalised a framework agreement with Computio Finance whereby Computio will underwrite a reserved capital increase for up to 600,000 euros, to be carried out within two months.

BANCO POPOLARE,,

The lender said on Thursday it had successfully completed its capital increase for 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion), which was 99.14 percent subscribed.

Three U.S. private equity funds are preparing to bid for Banco Popolare's "bad bank" by the May 15 deadline for offers, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday, citing market rumours.

Blackstone, Lone Star, and Fortress, the latter in partnership with Italian property group Prelios, are conducting due diligence on the unit, the paper said, adding that investment manager Pimco was on the list of potential buyers but currently little involved in the process.

* BANCA INTERMOBILIARE

The only offer still in the running for the private banking unit that Veneto Banca has put up for sale is one by former Banca Intermobiliare CEO Pietro D'Agui and French grop Oddo & CIE, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Tuesday citing rumours. The paper said Veneto Banca values the unit at around 500 million euros.

UNICREDIT,

UniCredit has received 16 expressions of interest in buying UniCredit Credit Management Bank (UCCMB), Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday without citing sources.

Blackstone, Fortress-Prelios, Lone Star and Pimco are in the running, Il Sole said, alongside a joint bid from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and TPG Capital, another combined offer from Cerberus, Jupiter Asset Management and CVC Capital Partners, and individual bids from York Capital and Oaktree. * UNICREDIT, INTESA SANPAOLO

Italy's two largest banks, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, have signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal to better manage a pool of restructured loans, the firms involved said in joined statement on Tuesday.

BANCA POPOLARE DI MILANO

Fitch Ratings on Thursday confirmed the bank's long-term 'BB+' rating with a negative outlook. However it cut the viability rating to 'B+' after shareholders last week rejected a planned governance reform. The rating agency said the banks's weak corporate governance acted as a constraint on the ratings.

CREDITO VALTELLINESE

Moody's on Thursday affirmed Credito Valtellinese's long and short-term deposit ratings at Ba3. The outlook for the long-term deposit rating remains negative, and in line with most Italian banks.

PARMALAT

The dairy group confirms its 2014 guidance, with CEO Yvon Gueirn saying the first half will be worse than the same period of last year but the second half will be better.

ATLANTIC 1

Italy's stock exchange said on Thursday that shareholders representing 27.1 percent of listed real estate fund Atlantic 1 had accepted to tender their shares in a public buyout offer launched by Oceano Immobiliare, a unit of U.S. investment fund Blackstone. Oceano has an overall stake of 39.5 percent in the fund, a source close to the matter said.

ISAGRO

Capital increase starts; ends on May 13.

* BANCA POPOLARE DI SONDRIO

The bank plans to remain independent and has no acquisitions in sight, Chairman Piero Melazzini told Il Sole 24 Ore on Tuesday.

* FINCANTIERI IPO

The government plans to list a stake close to 50 percent of the shipbuilder to fund a capital increase of up to 600 million euros, Corriere della Sera reported on Tuesday without citing sources.

SEA HANDLING

Milan airport operator SEA is creating a new company called Airport Handling to replace ground-handling unit SEA Handling and intends to reserve between 20 and 30 percent of the new company's capital for external investors, Corriere della Sera said on Saturday.

BRACCIALINI

The leather goods company is considering a public share sale, possibly by the end of this year, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday.

"We just need to find the right moment," Chief Executive Riccardo Braccialini told the paper. "Right now we are receiving a lot of interest from abroad."

The paper said the company has annual turnover around 70 million euros.

Annual general meetings: ASTM (0900 GMT), SERVIZI ITALIA (0830 GMT), VIANINI INDUSTRIA.

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