MILAN (Reuters) – An Italian court is expected to rule on Wednesday on whether four foreign banks missold derivatives to the city of Milan in a case seen as a litmus test for hundreds of local governments facing big losses from complex financial contracts.
Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), UBS (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Depfa Bank have been charged with aggravated fraud and accused of making 100 million euros ($132 million) in illicit profits from the sale of an interest-rate swap on a bond issued by the city of Milan.
BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The European Commission has
given its preliminary approval to a 3.9 billion euros ($5.1
billion) state bailout for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
(BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research), ending months of uncertainty for Italy’s
The approval is conditional on the bank, which was forced
to request state aid to bolster its weak capital base,
presenting a restructuring plan within six months, the
commission said in a statement on Monday.
MILAN, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Italian lender Banca Monte dei
Paschi di Siena is likely to avoid nationalisation for
now, under the terms of a state bailout allowing it to take on
more debt, which is expected to win European approval in the
next few days.
Under the bailout, which a European Commission source said
earlier this week Brussels will approve “in a matter of days”,
Monte dei Paschi will issue 3.9 billion euros ($5.1 billion) of
bonds to the Italian treasury to bolster its weak capital base.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.