BTG Pactual takes mid-term view on Monte Paschi investment -paper

MILAN Thu May 15, 2014 3:08am EDT

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MILAN May 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's BTG Pactual has invested in Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena for the medium term and will stay there until the bank is turned around, the fund's founder said in an interview on Thursday.

"We bought into the bank with the idea of taking part in its reorganisation and with a medium-term horizon, probably a couple of years," Andre Esteves told Il Sole 24 Ore. He said his group supported the Italian bank's management.

BTG Pactual Europe, a unit of Brazilian bank BTG Pactual, bought a 2 percent stake in Monte Paschi this year from the Italian lender's the banking foundation that was previously its controlling shareholder.

The foundation sold another 4.5 percent of the bank to U.S.-based fund Fintech Advisory and sealed a shareholder pact with the two investors.

BTG is also interested in Swiss wealth manager BSI. Its owner, Italian insurer Generali, announced late on Wednesday that it has begun sale talks with the Brazilian group.

"It's a strategic investment. If we get to the end of this deal BSI will be part of BTG's core business," Esteves said.

The BTG founder also said the group was looking at the various privatisations under way in Italy.

"We like infrastructure," he said, adding that the group was upbeat on investments in Italy.

Asked if BTG could invest in the Italian post office he said: "I do not want to go into details but I repeat there is much attention for the privatisation plans (in the country)."

"2012 was Spain's year, 2013 to some extent Greece's. This is your year," Esteves added. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by David Goodman)

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