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 the bank.
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)