ROME Aug 28 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
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
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)