MILAN Oct 8 Italian stock market regulator
Consob is trying to determine the "size and purpose" of Italian
carmaker Fiat's cash pile, which the carmaker puts at
22.7 billion euros, Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero said on
Both Consob and Fiat declined to comment.
The paper said that Consob's inspectors were looking at the
company's balance sheets, without providing further details.
Relations between Fiat and the regulator are tense, the
paper said, pointing to a speech Fiat's chief executive Sergio
Marchionne gave on September 24 in which he said Fiat had been
"exasperated" by the regulator's "19 letters" between April 2010
and October 2011 asking for more information about its plans to
invest in Italy.
Fiat has 12.1 billion euros in cash and equivalents, and
Chrysler, in which Fiat has a 58 percent stake, has 10.6 billion
euros, it said on July 30. Fiat cannot access Chrysler's cash
because of agreements with Chrysler's creditors.
Fiat has come under fire in Italy for delaying investments
in new cars until the market recovers from a five-year slump.
Fiat has said it needs to keep a lot of cash on its balance
sheet in the event of a credit crunch.
It also plans to use the cash in part to buy up the
remaining stake in Chrysler which it does not already own.
(Reporting by Jennifer Clark; Editing by Greg Mahlich)