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Feb 5, 2013

Italy’s Monte Paschi board to reveal extent of derivatives losses

SIENA, Italy, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Monte dei Paschi should
reveal on Wednesday at least 720 million euros of losses linked
to three 2006-09 derivatives trades that only recently came to
light and are now at the centre of an investigation against
former executives at Italy’s No. 3 bank.

A source close to the situation said the final loss should
be higher than a preliminary loss estimate from October of
around 720 million euros ($974 million).

Feb 1, 2013

Top Monte Paschi investor piled on debt under Treasury’s eye

MILAN/SIENA, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The charitable foundation
that controls Italy’s scandal-hit Monte dei Paschi
bank took on excessive debt and entered into risky derivative
trades with the tacit consent of the Treasury, sources with
direct knowledge of the situation said.

Not-for-profit foundations like Monte dei Paschi’s are major
stakeholders in all of Italy’s main banks and are meant to use
their dividends for social and cultural projects.

Jan 31, 2013

Insight: Monte dei Paschi harbored bank within a bank

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) – The secret document at the heart of the Monte dei Paschi banking scandal lay for months in a concealed safe in a 14th century Tuscan palace.

Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola said he learnt about the safe’s contents only last October, a full 10 months after he had been called in to sort out Italy’s third biggest bank.

Jan 30, 2013

Monte Paschi ex-managers under investigation over bribery, fraud

SIENA, Italy, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Prosecutors are
investigating the former management of Italy’s troubled Monte
dei Paschi bank for bribery and fraud, judicial
sources said on Wednesday, as pressure grew on the Bank of Italy
and bourse watchdog Consob.

With parliamentary elections less than a month away, the
scandal at Italy’s third-largest bank has deepened with
questions about the role of banking supervisors and the
influence of local politicians.

Jan 30, 2013

Monte dei Paschi harboured bank within a bank

SIENA, Italy, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The secret document at the
heart of the Monte dei Paschi banking scandal lay for months in
a concealed safe in a 14th century Tuscan palace.

Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola said he learnt about the
safe’s contents only last October, a full 10 months after he had
been called in to sort out Italy’s third biggest bank.

Jan 30, 2013

Italy market watchdog defends role in Monte Paschi scandal

SIENA, Italy, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Italy’s market regulator
Consob joined the government and the Bank of Italy on Wednesday
in defending its oversight of Monte Paschi as magistrates
investigated allegations of bribery and accounting malpractice
at the historic bank.

Italy’s third-largest lender has been plunged into crisis
over an opaque series of derivatives and structured finance
deals that have produced losses of 720 million euros ($970
million) and raised growing questions about possible corruption
by bank officials.

Jan 29, 2013

Monte Paschi ignored warnings over risk, documents show

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) – Monte dei Paschi’s risk control unit and its own internal audit team were alarmed about the department responsible for a series of opaque structured finance deals at the troubled bank as long ago as November 2009, bank documents show.

The documents, obtained by Reuters, add to a growing picture of a badly weakened bank pitching into crisis following its costly 9-billion-euro acquisition of rival Antonveneta just before the global financial meltdown of 2008.

Jan 29, 2013

Exclusive: Audit committee raised alarm over Monte Paschi risky deals

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) – Monte dei Paschi’s (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) risk control unit and its internal audit committee expressed serious misgivings about the bank’s finance department, now at the center of a scandal over structured finance trades, as far back as 2009, according to internal documents.

Monte dei Paschi has been under fire over three loss-making derivatives deals that its new management say only recently came to light. The deals forced the bank, Italy’s third largest, to request extra state aid last November.

Jan 29, 2013

Audit committee raised alarm over Monte Paschi risky deals

SIENA, Italy, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Monte dei Paschi’s
risk control unit and its internal audit committee
expressed serious misgivings about the bank’s finance
department, now at the centre of a scandal over structured
finance trades, as far back as 2009, according to internal
documents.

Monte dei Paschi has been under fire over three loss-making
derivatives deals that its new management say only recently came
to light. The deals forced the bank, Italy’s third largest, to
request extra state aid last November.

Jan 29, 2013

Profumo battles to drag Monte dei Paschi from mire

MILAN/SIENA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Alessandro Profumo went to
Monte dei Paschi to stage a financial turnaround; now one of
Italy’s most renowned bankers must also drag the 540-year-old
institution out of a legal and political mire.

Profumo faces the toughest challenge of his long career as
he tries to shake off the legacy of heavy losses on derivatives
trading under previous managers at Italy’s third-largest bank,
as well as suspicions of bribery during a 2007 takeover deal.