ROME Feb 28 The European Commission has asked
Italian authorities whether a decree hiking the value of the
Bank of Italy's share capital could constitute state aid to
banks, a spokesman said on Friday.
"I can confirm that the Commission has asked Italian
authorities for information about the decree-law of 30 November
2013 introducing changes to the capital of and shareholdings in
the Bank of Italy, in order to assess whether it could contain
state aid to certain banks," said spokesman Antoine Colombani.
"This is simply a request for more information which of
course does not prejudge in any way the substance of our
Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit
could cash in up to 3.5 billion euros ($4.79 billion)
combined from the sale of stakes in the central bank after a
revaluation of BOI's share capital by the Italian government
last month, according to analyst calculations.