MILAN, March 18 (Reuters) - The top investor in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is placing an 8.5 pct stake in the lender, two sources close to the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.
"It's an 8.5 percent stake, it is being handled by Morgan Stanley", said one of the sources.
A second source confirmed the operation.
Morgan Stanley declined to comment. The Monte dei Paschi foundation, a not-for-profit entity which holds a stake of just under 30 percent in the lender, had no immediate comment. (Reporting by Paola Arosio and Silvia Aloisi, editing by Stephen Jewkes)