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Jan 25, 2013

Italy’s crisis-hit Monte dei Paschi: half a millennium in banking

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) – When the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank was founded in 1472, Michelangelo was not born, Columbus had still to discover America and Henry VIII of England had yet to split from the church of Rome.

More than half a millennium later, the world’s oldest bank is facing nearly $1 billion of trading losses in a scandal that has forced Italian authorities to issue reassurances about the stability of the Siena institution.

Jan 25, 2013

Italy’s Monte Paschi faces shareholder fury as scandal widens

SIENA, Italy, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Enraged shareholders of
Monte Paschi bank lashed out at its management on Friday as
questions grew about central bank oversight of the historic
lender following the uncovering of nearly $1 billion of losses
in complex derivatives deals.

The turmoil surrounding Italy’s third largest bank has
rocked the country’s financial establishment and exposed both
the government and the Bank of Italy to difficult questions over
how the risky deals could have been hidden from regulators.

Jan 25, 2013

Italy’s Monti calls for investigation of Monte Paschi scandal

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti called on Friday for an immediate investigation of a widening scandal at Monte dei Paschi di Siena over the historic bank’s losses of nearly $1 billion in a series of complex derivatives deals.

Monti defended the Bank of Italy, whose governor at the time of the losses was Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank chief now facing criticism for failing to spot the trouble brewing at Monte Paschi.

Jan 24, 2013

Italy’s Monti steps into Monte Paschi scandal

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti weighed in to the scandal surrounding Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday, rejecting suggestions the authorities had failed to spot large trading losses threatening the bank.

Already in need of a 3.9 billion-euro bailout, Monte dei Paschi this week revealed loss-making derivatives trades which could cost it as much as 720 million euros (605 million pounds), lurching centre stage in a crucial general election campaign.

Jan 24, 2013

Monte Paschi faces $1 billion loss on “surprise” trades

MILAN (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third biggest bank, revealed on Thursday it could face losses of as much as 720 million euros ($956 million) on past trades in financial derivatives which new management only recently discovered.

Already one of Europe’s most undercapitalized banks, Monte dei Paschi had to ask last year for 3.9 billion euros in state aid to plug a capital hole stemming from its vast government bond portfolio and hedging bets gone wrong.

Jan 24, 2013

Monte Paschi faces $1 bln loss on ‘surprise’ trades

MILAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena,
Italy’s third biggest bank, revealed on Thursday it could face
losses of as much as 720 million euros ($956 million) on past
trades in financial derivatives which new management only
recently discovered.

Already one of Europe’s most undercapitalised banks, Monte
dei Paschi had to ask last year for 3.9 billion euros in state
aid to plug a capital hole stemming from its vast government
bond portfolio and hedging bets gone wrong.

Jan 23, 2013

Monte Paschi says three structured trades under review

MILAN (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Italy’s N.3 bank, said on Wednesday it was reviewing three loss-making structured trades made in 2006-09 after its shares plunged for the second day in a row on fears of a mounting shortfall in its accounts.

Seeking to reassure investors, the Tuscan bank said the 500 million euros it requested in extra state aid in November would be enough to absorb a hit on its capital from those trades, which were linked to its vast Italian government bond portfolio.

Jan 23, 2013

Derivatives scandal drags Monte Paschi into Italy election race

MILAN, Jan 23 (Reuters) – A scandal over shady derivatives
deals bleeding money at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
has thrust Italy’s third-biggest lender into the
country’s election campaign and risks embarrassing the
centre-left over its ties with the bank.

The bank, which had to request a 3.9-billion-euro state
bailout ($5.2 billion) last year, is widely regarded as close to
the centre-left PD party, which is leading in opinion polls and
controls the Tuscany region where Monte dei Paschi is based.

Jan 23, 2013

Monte Paschi shares plunge on derivative loss fears

MILAN, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi
di Siena, Italy’s third-biggest lender, fell more than
5 percent for the second day in a row on Wednesday on worries of
mounting losses on some financial derivative positions which it
took in 2008 and 2009.

The stock was down 5.2 percent at 0.2632 euro by 1035 GMT,
having earlier fallen as much as 9 percent.

Jan 23, 2013

Monte Paschi loses at least $293 million on derivative trade: source

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third biggest lender, will book a loss of at least 220 million euros ($293 million) from a three-year-old derivative deal in its 2012 results, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday.

The loss is the latest setback for Monte dei Paschi, which requested 3.9 billion euros in state aid to plug a capital hole stemming from its government bond portfolio and hedging bets gone wrong.