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Nov 14, 2012

Monte Paschi posts unexpected loss in Q3

MILAN, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
, Italy’s third biggest lender, reported an unexpected
net loss in the third quarter of the year due to writedowns on
bad loans.

In contrast to larger rivals UniCredit and Intesa
Sanpaolo, which reported better-than-expected
third-quarter profits on Tuesday, Monte dei Paschi posted a net
loss of 47.4 million euros ($60.3 million) over the period.

Nov 13, 2012

Trading gains lift Intesa, UniCredit profits

MILAN, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Italy’s two biggest banks, Intesa
Sanpaolo and UniCredit, delivered higher than
expected profits and strengthened their capital bases even as
they both set aside billions of euros against risky loans.

An easing of the euro zone debt crisis since the summer
boosted trading gains for both banks, which are cutting
thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of branches to cut costs
and revive sluggish earnings.

Nov 9, 2012

Rising bad loans keep pressure on Italian banks

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian banks are cutting their lending to businesses to fend off rising bad loans and reduce their funding needs, crimping profits and exacerbating a credit crunch in the euro zone’s third largest economy.

With Italy’s top five lenders due to report third-quarter results next week, analysts say operating results will remain weak and that this is unlikely to change soon, as lower loan volumes against a backdrop of low interest rates eat into banks’ margins.

Nov 5, 2012

Italy’s UniCredit denies Intesa merger talk

MILAN, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest bank denied on
Monday there were any plans for a tie up with rival Intesa
Sanpaolo after reports that UniCredit chief
executive Federico Ghizzoni had been sounded out on the issue.

A source close to a UniCredit shareholder told Reuters the
chairman of Intesa’s supervisory board, Giovanni Bazoli, had
sent a friendly banker to discuss a tie-up with Ghizzoni but
that he had rejected the idea.

Oct 25, 2012

Ray-ban maker Luxottica sees signs of south Europe recovery

MILAN, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Italy’s Luxottica, the
world’s biggest premium eyewear maker, expects a positive 2013
after reporting a healthy rise in profits thanks to strong sales
in North America, its main market, and the first signs of
recovery in southern Europe.

The Italian company, which makes Ray-Bans and also
sunglasses for luxury brands such as Prada and Gucci,
said third-quarter net profit reached 138.6 million euros
($179.62 million), up 30.6 percent on a year earlier.

Oct 18, 2012

Italian banks may not escape real estate trouble

MILAN, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Italian banks have not suffered
from a property collapse like the one crippling their Spanish
peers but they are still at risk of large writedowns from the
declining real estate market.

Italy’s property prices have fallen 16 percent since 2008 in
real terms and 44 percent of bank loans are tied to the sector.

Oct 18, 2012

Moody’s cuts Italy’s Monte Paschi to junk

MILAN, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Moody’s cut the rating of Italy’s
third largest lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena,
to junk and said it may need more state aid, triggering a 6
percent selloff in the bank’s shares on Thursday.

Monte Paschi, the world’s oldest surviving bank, was the
only Italian lender to fail the European Banking Authority’s
stress tests and is the first of the five systemically important
Italian banks to fall below investment grade.

Oct 9, 2012

Italian bank MPS cleared for 1 bln euro share issue

SIENA, Italy, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena (MPS), Italy’s No.3 lender, won shareholder
approval for a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) share issue that
would help it to fix a balance sheet ravaged by the euro zone
debt crisis.

The world’s oldest bank, which also plans to close 400
branches and cut 4,600 jobs, is allowed to launch the cash call
through the next three years, giving it the firepower to pay
back state loans it was forced to request in June.

Oct 8, 2012

Monte Paschi seeks nod for 1 bln euro capital hike

MILAN, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
, Italy’s No.3 lender, was set to win approval for a
capital increase of up to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) on
Tuesday, part of a restructuring plan laid out in June.

The world’s oldest bank, which plans to close 400 branches
and cut 4,600 job cuts, will also seek changes to its
governance.

Oct 8, 2012

Italian banks cut lending to business further

MILAN, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Italian banks are parking their
money in domestic government bonds rather than lending it to
businesses, central bank data showed on Monday, signalling a
worsening credit crunch in the euro zone’s third largest
economy.

Lending to non-financial companies fell by 1.9 percent in
August from a year earlier, the fourth consecutive monthly
decline and the worst fall since the data turned negative in
May.