MILAN Oct 10 French insurer AXA will
subscribe to a 2.5 billion euro ($3.4 billion) cash call which
Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has to carry
out by the end of 2014, its chief executive was quoted saying by
Corriere della Sera daily on Thursday.
AXA becomes the first shareholder in the troubled Italian
lender to publicly say it will take part in the fundraising,
whose size is more than twice the amount originally planned by
AXA has a 3.7 percent stake in the Siena-based bank, which
this week unveiled a tough restructuring plan to win EU approval
for a 4.1 billion euro state bailout.
"We are ready to keep our stake by contributing to the
recapitalisation of Monte Paschi because we are convinced that
the restructuring plan will be successful," AXA's Henri de
Castries told Corriere in an interview.
Swiss bank UBS is Monte dei Paschi's financial
adviser for the capital increase, whose success is critical if
the Italian lender is to avoid nationalisation.
($1 = 0.7398 euros)
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by David Holmes)