January 2, 2019 / 8:11 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Italy's market watchdog suspends trading in Carige shares ahead of statement

(Adds watchdog statement, context)

MILAN, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Italy’s market watchdog Consob has suspended trading in shares of Banca Carige for a day on Wednesday ahead of a possible statement on the governance of the troubled lender.

The request to suspend trading in shares came from Banca Carige, Consob said, adding that a statement from the bank is likely to be issued on Wednesday.

Genoa-based Carige last month failed to win shareholder backing for a 400 million euro ($459 million) share issue, part of a rescue plan financed by Italian lenders to shield the industry from the risk of another banking collapse.

The European Central Bank, which supervises Italy’s tenth largest bank directly, has told Carige to complete its capital strengthening plan and seek a merger with a stronger partner.

The ECB in considering action on the bank, including putting it under special administration, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday.

The report said Chief Executive Fabio Innocenzi and Chairman Pietro Modiano could be confirmed as temporary administrators.

The bank’s top investor is Italy’s Malacalza family, which holds 27.6 percent of Carige after investing more than 400 million euros for a stake worth 20 million euros at current market prices.

ECB supervisors last week met with both the Malacalzas and Carige’s chief executive in Frankfurt, two sources told Reuters, though they added talks failed to yield concrete results.

$1 = 0.8711 euros Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Jan Harvey

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