Italy aims to complete Eni, Enel stake sales by December-official

ROME Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:13am EDT

ROME Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Italian government is on course to sell stakes in energy groups Enel and Eni and to transfer its holding in chip maker STMicroelectronics by the end of the year, a senior official said on Thursday.

At a meeting in the Economy Ministry on Wednesday, the timetable was confirmed with the sales expected to be completed between October and the start of December, said the official, who declined to be cited by name.

Earlier this year, Italy announced plans to sell a 5 percent stake in electricity supplier Enel and a 4.34 percent stake in oil group Eni this year as part of a privatisation drive aimed at reducing a public debt, which is set to top 135 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

The privatisation drive was intended to raise the equivalent of 0.7 percent of Italy's 1.6 trillion euro GDP, or about 11 billion euros, but market uncertainty has forced the Treasury to delay parts of the programme including the planned sale of a stake in state-owned post office operator Poste Italiane.

The Eni stake sale could raise just under 3 billion euros at current market prices, with 2 billion coming from the Enel stake. The transfer of a 13 percent stake in STMicro to the state investment fund is expected to raise some 800 million euros.

Separately, another 3 billion euros from the repayment of so-called "Monti bonds", the state loans issued to bail out the troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, should bring the total raised to pay down debt to some 9 billion euros. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; editing by David Clarke)