The following factors could affect Italian markets on Friday.
Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).
One of the “wise men” charged with finding a way out of Italy’s political crisis apologised on Thursday after he made offensive remarks about centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi during a prank phone call organised by a radio show.
Italy’s ISTAT releases deficit/GDP ratio for the fourth quarter.
Italy will hike its planned target for government bond issuance in 2013 ansd 2014 to pay off a portion of outstanding state debts to the private sector, a senior treasury source told Reuters.
Fitch said on Friday it expected a rise in impaired loan charges at Italian banks to continue through 2013, adding this trend was unlikely to slow down until the economy improved.
Shares in Telecom Italia surged after reports the debt-laden Italian telecoms company could discuss merging with Hutchison Whampoa’s Italian wireless unit H3G at next week’s board meeting.
* Hutchison values its Italian operating unit 3 Italia at 2 billion euros, an amount seen as disproportionate given its losses, Il Messaggero said. The paper said the Hong-Kong group is looking at a merger of 3 Italia into Telecom via a capital increase that would give it at least 20 percent of the group. It does not exclude buying shares from shareholders of Telco, the vehicle that controls Telecom Italia, it added.
* Vimpelcom and its Italian unit Wind as well as Vodafone are also looking at 3 Italia, Il Sole 24 Ore said, without citing sources.
Motorway operator Atlantia said on Thursday traffic volumes on its Italian network had fallen 2.9 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period of 2012.
Mediaset could sell up to 15 percent of its EI Towers unit to raise 100 million euros, MF said.
Italian holding company Camfin, which controls tyremaker Pirelli, said on Thursday its net profit in 2012 rose 30 percent to 70.1 million euros thanks to lower losses at its troubled property unit, Prelios.
The group’s board meets on Friday on 2012 results.
The group holds its annual shareholder meeting on Friday.