MILAN Dec 28 Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
, Italy's third-biggest bank, has completed the sale of
a 60 percent stake in regional bank Biverbanca to Cassa di
Risparmio di Asti for 209 million euros ($276 million).
The bank is trying to sell off assets to help to strengthen
its capital base. Other assets for sale include its leasing
activities and consumer credit unit Consum.it.
Monte dei Paschi said on Friday it would earn 25 million
euros net from the Biverbanca sale, which would help increase
its capital ratio, a measure of a bank's financial strength.
It first announced the sale in June. Both Biverbanca and
Cassa di Risparmio di Asti are based in northern Italy.
Monte dei Paschi was forced to ask for government aid in
June after failing to meet tougher capital rules set by European
The government bailout scheme was approved last week by the
European Commission and is currently before the Italian
parliament. Under the scheme, the bank will issue 3.9 billion
euros of bonds to the treasury.