MILAN Nov 22 Italian financier Alessandro
Proto, who has announced offers for stakes in some of Italy's
top companies, has been placed under investigation for alleged
market rigging, judicial sources said on Thursday.
Confirming media reports, the judicial sources said Milan
prosecutors had placed the financier under investigation for
alleged market rigging in relation to statements made by his
consultancy firm Proto Organisation.
Proto denied he was under investigation for market
"Proto is not under investigation in any proceedings about
market rigging," his lawyer Francesco Rubino said on Thursday.
"All financial activities of the Proto Organisation have
always been carried out with the utmost transparency and in
conformity with market rules and Italian laws," he said in an
In a separate statement, Proto said he had not been notified
of an investigation by prosecutors and that he would not let
false accusations intimidate him.
"This is mud-slinging against someone who wants to do
something for the country," Proto said.
Under Italian law, prosecutors do not need to tell people
they are being investigated.
The judicial sources said Proto's past statements about his
offers for stakes in Italian banks Monte dei Paschi di Siena
and UniCredit, publisher RCS and
car maker Fiat, were only partially true.
Prosecutors believe that Proto announced these offers
without making clear that they had been immediately rejected,
the sources said.
The sources said Proto was also being investigated for fraud
in connection with separate deals, including real estate
Earlier in November, market regulator Consob said Proto had
not provided required information in relation to his role in an
investment in RCS, the publisher of Italy's leading newspaper
Corriere della Sera.
(Reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro; Writing by Danilo Masoni;
Editing by Emilio Parodi and David Holmes)