ROME Jan 29 Italy's Chamber of Deputies on
Wednesday gave final approval to a decree allowing the
revaluation of the share capital of the Bank of Italy, improving
the capital position of the country's largest lenders, its
The central bank's share capital is to be hiked dramatically
to up to 7.5 billion euros ($10.23 billion) from its previous
value of 156,000 euros, which had not been changed since the
The law will enable the commercial banks to improve their
balance sheets from 2015, and also help public finances thanks
to the taxation of the capital gain the banks will register. It
sets a 3 percent limit on stakes by single shareholders.
Intesa Sanpaolo is the main shareholder in the Bank
of Italy, with a 42 percent stake, followed by UniCredit
CRDI.MI, with a 22 percent stake.
Troubled lenders Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
and Banca Carige hold 2.5 percent and 4 percent of the
central bank respectively.
The decree, which had already passed through the Senate,
was approved in the lower house just hours before the midnight
cut-off after which it would have expired.
Its passage had been slowed by filibustering by the
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which objects to what it
views as the "privatisation" of the central bank and a "gift" to
banks who are not doing enough to help Italy's struggling
Data this month showed bank lending to Italian companies
fell in November at its steepest rate since records began 10
The decree also scrapped the final instalment in 2013 of an
unpopular housing tax on primary residences.
($1 = 0.7329 euros)
(Reporting by Roberto Landucci; writing by Gavin Jones; editing
by Andrew Roche)