Italy OKs process to grant state guarantees for Enel credit facility - source

A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen at the Milan headquarters, Italy, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo

MILAN, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Italy's Treasury has given a preliminary go-ahead to a request by utility Enel (ENEI.MI) to tap state guarantees for an up to 16 billion euro ($16 billion) credit facility provided by a pool of banks, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Enel declined to comment.

The preliminary green light from the ministry sets in motion a process that entails numerous approval steps and stretches over several weeks.

Under the process, the boards of the banks in the pool will need to approve the credit facility. Italian state exports credit agency SACE will need to clear the guarantees which will then need a final green light from the ministry itself.

The ministry has up to 120 days from SACE's request to answer.

Europe's biggest utility has asked to tap a state guarantee scheme Rome has designed to help domestic companies hit by surging energy prices.

($1 = 1.0241 euros)

Reporting by Andrea Mandala Additional reporting by Valentina Za and Giuseppe Fonte Editing by Giselda Vagnoni and Mark Potter

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