Silvia's Feed
Dec 9, 2012

Political upheaval seen pushing Italy to center of euro crisis

MILAN (Reuters) – Prospects of a political crisis in Italy sooner than expected – after Prime Minister Mario Monti said he intends to resign early – are expected to drive up Rome’s borrowing costs and tensions in the euro zone after months of calm on the bond market.

Monti’s surprise announcement on Saturday that he intended to resign after the approval of next year’s budget raised the prospect of an election in February, weeks before the end of his term in April, and heightened the uncertainty over who will succeed him.

Dec 7, 2012

Flu forces La Scala to change opening gala cast

MILAN (Reuters) – Opera house La Scala was forced to change its cast for Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” hours before the opening gala on Friday after German soprano Anja Harteros and her understudy both fell ill with flu.

The theatre said Annette Dasch will sing the lead female role of Elsa after arriving in Milan overnight, rescuing the biggest night of the year in the world of opera. Dasch has performed the role at the Bayreuth opera festival.

Dec 6, 2012

La Scala courts controversy with Wagner gala opening

MILAN (Reuters) – Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” kicks off La Scala’s season on Friday with the renowned Milanese theatre under fire for choosing the German maestro over local hero Giuseppe Verdi on the biggest night of the year for the world of opera.

With opera lovers around the globe preparing to celebrate the 200th birthday of both composers, born a few months apart in 1813, La Scala has been accused of being unpatriotic at a time when Italy battles a recession some blame on austerity policies driven by Germany.

Dec 5, 2012

S&P cuts Monte Paschi to junk

MILAN, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s became the second
credit ratings agency to cut Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi
di Siena to ‘junk’ status on Wednesday, saying
planned state aid may not be enough to stop its capital and
funding position from worsening.

Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest and Italy’s third
biggest bank, was one of only four European lenders that failed
to meet tougher capital requirements set by the European Banking

Nov 28, 2012

Monte Paschi ups state aid request by $647 mln

MILAN/ROME, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena, Italy’s third-biggest lender, has asked for an
extra 500 million euros ($647 million) state aid, citing a
possible hit on its capital from past deals.

Monte dei Paschi said on Wednesday its board had approved
the issue to the Italian Treasury of special bonds for up to 3.9
billion euros, up from 3.4 billion previously.

Nov 23, 2012

Shareholder rift casts shadow over Italy’s SEA market debut

MILAN, Nov 23 (Reuters) – A rift between the two biggest
shareholders in Italian airport operator SEA has put its share
sale in doubt less than two weeks before it is due to make its
stock market debut, which will be only the third Milan listing
since 2011.

F2i, an infrastructure investment fund with a stake of just
under 30 percent in SEA, has criticised the listing and accused
the company of withholding sensitive data, including negative
airport traffic numbers, from its prospectus.

Nov 20, 2012

Intesa-UniCredit merger talk betrays shareholder jitters

MILAN, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Nervous Italian shareholders are
toying with the idea of a tie-up between the country’s two
biggest banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit,
to fend off the threat of a foreign takeover, sources close to
the situation say.

Despite a flurry of denials by executives at both lenders,
the sources say discussions about a possible merger were
initiated by banking foundations that are core shareholders in
the two banks and are worried about their low market value.

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.