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Sep 17, 2013

Costa Concordia salvage nears final phase

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Salvage crews lifted the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner off a rock shelf on Monday as they worked deep into the night to complete one of the most difficult and expensive maritime salvage operations ever undertaken.

The 114,500-ton Concordia has lain half-submerged on its side just off the Italian island of Giglio since it ran aground and sank with the loss of 32 lives on January 13, 2012.

Sep 16, 2013

Costa Concordia inches upwards as salvage continues into night

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Salvage crews shifted the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship slowly off a rock shelf on Monday in a painstaking process that looked set to continue into the early hours of the morning.

The most complex and costly salvage operation of its kind ever attempted began at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on the Italian island of Giglio after a three-hour delay due to an overnight storm, and progress was slower than originally estimated.

Sep 16, 2013

Engineers start ambitious Costa Concordia salvage off Italian island

GIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – Engineering teams began lifting the wrecked Costa Concordia liner upright on Monday, the start of one of the most complex and costly maritime salvage operations ever attempted.

The vast hulk of the 114,500 ton cruise liner has lain on its side for more than 20 months, dominating the tiny port in the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio where it hit rocks on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people.

Sep 13, 2013

Engineers, insurers on edge as Costa Concordia salvage nears

ROME, Sept 13 (Reuters) – When salvage teams begin hauling
the wrecked Costa Concordia liner upright on the Italian island
of Giglio next week, the financial stakes for insurers will be
almost as enormous as the awe-inspiring feat of engineering.

According to reinsurer Munich Re, the overall
insurance loss from the accident could surpass $1.1 billion. As
much as half of that may be swallowed up by the cost of the
salvage operation.

Sep 11, 2013

Italy PM Letta says borrowing costs at risk as instability continues

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta warned on Wednesday that political turmoil was driving up Italy’s borrowing costs as uncertainty continued over the future of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.

The fate of the 76-year-old billionaire, who faces expulsion from parliament following a conviction for tax fraud last month, has overshadowed Italian politics for weeks, with his supporters alternating pledges of loyalty with threats to bring down the government if he is forced out.

Sep 10, 2013

Berlusconi allies step up threats over Italian Senate ruling

ROME (Reuters) – Allies of Silvio Berlusconi stepped up warnings on Tuesday that they would bring down Italy’s unstable ruling coalition if center-left lawmakers refuse to delay a hearing over expelling the billionaire former prime minister from parliament.

A cross-party Senate committee, which is deciding whether Berlusconi should be stripped of his seat in the upper house following a conviction for tax fraud last month, resumes talks at 8.00 p.m. (1800 GMT) after an initial meeting on Monday.

Sep 9, 2013

Monte Paschi’s new capital needs could force nationalization

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) – The prospect of nationalisation looms large for Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) now that the beleaguered lender needs to raise more than twice as much capital as originally planned to meet new European Union requirements.

Italy’s third largest bank said on Monday it would approve a tougher than initially expected restructuring plan on September 24 to comply with European Union demands, confirming investor fears it is struggling to emerge from the euro zone debt crisis.

Sep 9, 2013

Italy’s Monte Paschi’s new capital needs could mean nationalisation

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) may have to be nationalised unless it can raise more than twice as much capital as originally planned, to meet new European Union requirements.

The bank, the country’s third largest, must find an extra 2.5 billion euro (£2.1 billion) to shore up its finances, the government said late on Sunday, highlighting its continuing weakness after a huge derivatives scandal surfaced this year.

Sep 9, 2013

Monte Paschi doubles planned capital hike to 2.5 bln euros

ROME, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena will seek 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in
fresh capital from investors, more than double its original
plan, under a new bailout to shore up the loss-making bank, the
economy ministry said on Sunday.

The revised plan is the latest measure in a painful recovery
process for Italy’s No.3 bank. Monte Paschi is still grappling
with the aftermath of a massive derivatives scandal which
emerged in the wake of its expensive acquisition of rival
Antonveneta in 2008.

Sep 9, 2013

Italy coalition faces risk as Senate panel meets on Berlusconi

ROME (Reuters) – A special committee of the Italian Senate meets on Monday to consider expelling Silvio Berlusconi following his conviction for tax fraud, a decision that could shatter the fragile ruling coalition and plunge Italy into fresh political crisis.

Senior figures in Berlusconi’s center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party have threatened to pull out of Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government if Berlusconi is stripped of his seat in the Senate.