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Aug 3, 2012

Intesa bad loans spike as Italy recession bites

MILAN, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s
biggest retail bank, reported a sharp rise in provisions for
risky loans in the second quarter and falling net profit as the
Italian economy plunged deeper into recession.

The lender set aside 2.1 billion euros ($2.55 billion) in
the first half of 2012, up 37 percent from the first half of
2011, as risky loans rose by 20 percent.

Jun 27, 2012

Overhaul at Italy’s oldest bank looks to new investors

SIENA, Italy, June 27 (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena laid out a painful restructuring plan on
Wednesday, a day after the world’s oldest bank was forced to
take state aid, and said it would be looking to new investors in
seeking to raise up to 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion)in new
equity capital over the next five years.

Monte dei Paschi is the first Italian bank to have to resort
to state aid since 2010 as the euro zone crisis deepens, with
the bank hit hard by its 25 billion-euro exposure to Italian
government bonds, which is proportionally higher than that of
its domestic peers.

Jun 26, 2012

Pamplona Capital buys 5 pct of Italy’s UniCredit

MILAN/LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – A fund backed by Russian
billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group has bought 5 percent in
UniCredit, making it the second-largest shareholder in
Italy’s biggest bank.

The stake, bought by London-based Pamplona Capital
Management, is worth about 750 million euros ($935.33 million)
at current market prices and is one of the largest investments
by a foreign operator in a listed Italian group this year.

Jun 26, 2012

Italy offers state aid to world’s oldest bank

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) – Italy offered up to 2 billion euros on Tuesday to plug a capital gap in the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the second time in three years the cash-strapped state has had to bail out the world’s oldest bank.

The bank, founded in 1472 as a charity to lend to the poor of Tuscany, expanded rapidly in the last few decades, becoming Italy’s third largest lender with a vast branch network. It’s second bailout would leave it dependent on nearly 4 billion euros in expensive state aid.

Jun 25, 2012

Italy’s MPS races against time to plug capital gap

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is racing against time to win regulatory approval to sell least 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) of bonds to the government to plug a capital shortfall by the end of June.

Sources close to the situation told Reuters at the weekend that the world’s oldest bank was in close talks with the Treasury and the Bank of Italy for a capital fix that would make it the first Italian bank to resort to state aid since 2010, when the euro zone crisis deepened.

Jun 23, 2012

MPS in talks to issue 1 billion euros of govt-backed bonds – sources

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) is in talks with the Treasury and the Bank of Italy about issuing at least 1 billion euros (806.8 million pounds) of government-backed bonds to plug a capital shortfall, two sources close to the matter said on Saturday.

If the Treasury and the Bank of Italy give the go-ahead, Italy’s third biggest lender would become the country’s first bank to resort to state help as the euro zone debt crisis deepens.

Jun 23, 2012

MPS postpones board meeting on new plan to June 26

MILAN/ROME, June 23 (Reuters) – Italy’s third-biggest
lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, has postponed
by a day to June 26 a board meeting set to approve its new
business plan as it races against time to plug a capital
shortfall by end June.

Citing “organisational reasons”, Monte dei Paschi said in a
statement the plan would now be presented to analysts on June
27. It is the second time that the board meeting and the
presentation, which had initially been due for mid-June, have
been postponed.

Jun 22, 2012

Monte dei Paschi shares rise on capital hopes

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) – Shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rose as much as 10 percent on Friday, with traders citing hopes that Italy’s third-biggest lender will not need to tap the market to bolster its financial strength.

Monte dei Paschi, which will update investors on its capital-strengthening plans next week, must plug a 3.3 billion euro ($4.2 billion) shortfall by June 30 to meet tougher capital rules set by the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Jun 22, 2012

Capital gap to overshadow MPS business plan

MILAN/ROME June 22 (Reuters) – Concerns over capital are set
to overshadow Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s new business
plan next week, with Italy’s third-biggest lender expected to
announce a focus on its retail business and fewer loans to
offset deposit outflows.

MPS (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s oldest lender, must plug a 3.3
billion euros ($4.2 billion) shortfall by June 30 to meet
tougher capital rules set by the European Banking Authority.

Jun 20, 2012

Libya eyes refund of Goldman, SocGen losses

MILAN (Reuters) – The Libyan sovereign wealth fund is investigating investment losses of $1.75 billion on structured products managed by Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to see whether it can claim compensation, the fund’s chairman said on Wednesday.

Mohsen Derregia, chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), told reporters in Milan that the LIA needed to review these investments and how they were managed.