Italy - Factors to watch on May 21

Wed May 21, 2014 3:02am EDT

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Wednesday.

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

* POLITICS

Employment will be the Italian government's priority during its presidency of the European Union in the second half of this year, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in an interview in l'Unita on Wednesday.

The structural weakness of the Italian economy is higher than previously thought, Padoan said, and a contraction in the Italian economy in the first quarter would have been worse without measures taken by the previous and current governments to pay state arrears.

Padoan said the government's forecast for 0.8 economic growth this year remained unchanged, and setting a minimum wage could be a good idea depending on how it is introduced.

DEBT

Treasury offers BTPs bond maturing on Dec. 1, 2018, 3.50 percent coupon buying back following: BTPs bond maturing on April 15, 2015, 3.00 percent coupon; BTPs maturing on Aug. 1, 2015, 3.75 percent coupon; CCTs bond maturing on Sept. 1, 2015; BTPs bond maturing on Dec. 1, 2015, 2.75 percent coupon; CCTEUs bond maturing on Oct. 15, 2017.

COMPANIES

MONTE PASCHI DI SIENA * Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola said in an interview with la Repubblica on Wednesday he is confident the bank's planned 5 billion euro ($6.9 billion) rights issue will be sufficient to plug possible holes in its finances ahead of a review by the European Central Bank, reassure markets, and guard against other developments.

Viola said the ECB stress tests would be the biggest risk to the bank, while he was not worried about the markets nor about another recession in the short term. He said responses to the bank's roadshow for the rights issue and the fact the shares had been actively traded made him think only a small part of the bank's rights issue would remain unsubscribed.

The bank holds a shareholder meeting to vote on a larger-than-planned capital increase of 5 billion euros.

FIAT

The Italian carmaker plans to invest around 2.36 billion zlotys ($773 million) to upgrade its factories in southern Poland where it plans to start the production of a new model, the Polish government said on Tuesday. * Il Sole 24 Ore and Corriere della Sera report on Wednesday that Fiat will hold talks with unions over renewing contracts on June 3.

* TELECOM ITALIA

Fintech Advisory head David Martinez Guzman told Il Sole 24 Ore the U.S.-based fund could increase its stake in Telecom Italia once the Argentine government gives the green light to Fintech's acquisition of Telecom Argentina.

BANCA CARIGE

The top shareholder in Banca Carige CRGI.MI said on Tuesday it had started to place a stake of around 15 percent in the Italian mid-sized bank, cutting its holding ahead of a planned rights issue next month.

* La Repubblica said on Wednesday the foundation could earn around 150 million euros from the placement which should be worth around 163 million euros at market prices.

TERNA

The power grid operator said on Tuesday it had completed the acquisition of Tamini Trasformatori for 23.9 million euros. The deal was first announced in February.

CIR * Sorgenia's shareholders and creditor banks are in talks with the aim of finding an debt restructuring agreement by the end of the month, Monte Paschi Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola said in an interview with La Repubblica on Wednesday.

The conversion of debt into equity is the solution to the debt restructuring needed at CIR's energy unit Sorgenia, the CEO of Banca Popolare di Milano Giuseppe Castagna said on Tuesday. The bank is a creditor bank.

* ENEL

MF reports new Chief Executive Francesco Starace will focus on technology and renewable energy, with investments of 6 billion euros.

* RCS MEDIAGROUP, CAIRO COMMUNICATIONS

Chief Executive Pietro Scott Jovane said on television that rumours of a tie-up between the media company and Cairo Communications were unfounded, Il Sole 24 Ore reports.

SEAT PAGINE GIALLE

The yellow pages group said on Tuesday that D. Holding had made an initial illustration of the terms and conditions of the binding expression of interest it submitted on 9 May.

* ALITALIA, AIR FRANCE

Alitalia shareholder AirFrance will consider stepping back further from the troubled Italian airline if a deal under which Abu Dhabi-based Etihad invests in Alitalia is not friendly and becomes hostile, La Repubblica quoted AirFrance Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac as saying on Wednesday.

La Repubblica said an offer from Etihad to invest in Alitalia could take shape by Friday and the Abu Dhabi airline's board could send a letter to Alitalia Chief Executive Gabriele del Torchio by Thursday.

Il Sole 24 Ore quotes de Juniac saying the French airline would work with Etihad if it invests in Alitalia and wants to cooperate, but would consider lowering its stake in Alitalia further if the Abu Dhabi airline takes a hostile attitude.

RISANAMENTO

Annual general meeting (1300 GMT).

For Italian market data and news, click on codes in brackets:

20 biggest gainers (in percentage)............

20 biggest losers (in percentage).............

FTSE IT allshare index

FTSE Mib index........

FTSE Allstars index...

FTSE Mid Cap index....

Block trades..........

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

For pan-European market data and news, click on codes in brackets: European Equities speed guide................... FTSEurofirst 300 index.............................. DJ STOXX index...................................... Top 10 STOXX sectors........................... Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................... Top 10 Eurofirst 300 sectors................... Top 25 European pct gainers....................... Top 25 European pct losers........................ Main stock markets: Dow Jones............... Wall Street report ..... Nikkei 225............. Tokyo report............ FTSE 100............... London report........... Xetra DAX............. Frankfurt market stories CAC-40................. Paris market stories... World Indices..................................... Reuters survey of world bourse outlook......... Western European IPO diary.......................... European Asset Allocation........................ Reuters News at a Glance: Equities............... Main currency report:............................... ($1 = 0.7302 Euros)