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Feb 10, 2015

Italian banks see turning point on loan loss charges

MILAN, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Italian banks set aside less cash
than expected to cover for soured loans in the last quarter of
last year, signalling they might be starting to see the light at
the end of the tunnel as Italy’s economy is set to emerge from a

Italy’s biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo kicked
off the reporting season by raising its shareholder payout and
Popolare di Milano also returned to paying a dividend
for the first time in four years.

Feb 7, 2015

Central bank raises Italy growth forecasts

MILAN, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The Italian economy is expected to
grow more than previously forecast this year and the next as a
result of the European Central Bank’s bond buying programme,
Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said on Saturday.

The Italian central bank now expects the euro area’s
third-largest economy – and its most sluggish – to expand by
more than 0.5 percent this year and more than 1.5 percent the
next, Visco said in a speech at a financial conference.

Feb 7, 2015

State intervention could help Italy banks offload bad debts-BOI

MILAN, Feb 7 (Reuters) – State intervention could help
Italian banks offload soured loans, the governor of the Bank of
Italy said on Saturday as the government considers options to
mop up problematic debts and revive bank lending to the economy.

Bad loans stood at 181 billion euros ($208 billion) in
November, accounting for 10.6 percent of all loans at leading
Italian banks, which fared worst in a Europe-wide health check
of the sector last year.

Jan 23, 2015

Italy popolari bank overhaul offers no quick fix for Monte Paschi

MILAN/LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Italy’s move to overhaul
its cooperative banking sector does not mean a quick fix for
Monte dei Paschi.

The Tuscan lender will have to tap shareholders for at least
2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) by the end of July even if
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi gets his reform plans through
parliament in the next two months.

Jan 19, 2015

Italy may abolish one-vote-per-investor rule for popolari banks -draft

MILAN, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Shares in Italian cooperative
banks soared on Monday as the government prepared to put forward
a landmark reform of the sector that aims to abolish a rule
granting one vote to each shareholder regardless of the size of
their stake.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said a government decree to be
discussed by his cabinet on Tuesday included measures to
“rationalise the credit sector”.

Jan 9, 2015

Monte dei Paschi says ECB asking for 14.3 percent core capital level

MILAN/ROME, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
(ECB) has asked Monte dei Paschi di Siena to raise its
core capital level to 14.3 percent as it sets new, tougher
requirements for riskier lenders to bolster their financial

The Tuscan lender, which emerged as the weakest bank in a
Europe-wide health check of the sector last year, said the ECB
request was preliminary and subject to changes, adding it was
reviewing the proposal and would reply on Jan. 16.

Nov 28, 2014

Intesa says Coutts international arm less valuable than whole group

MILAN, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Intesa Sanpaolo will
definitely consider bidding for Royal Bank of Scotland’s
wealth management arm Coutts if the whole unit is put up for
sale but is less inclined to buy only its international
operations, its chief said on Friday.

Flush with 16 billion euros ($20 billion) of excess capital,
Italy’s biggest retail lender is seeking to expand into private
banking and asset management – particularly in Switzerland,
Asia, the United States and Britain.

Nov 21, 2014

Telecom Italia seals $1 billion masts deal, to examine tie up with Oi

MILAN/BARCELONA (Reuters) – Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will examine a possible tie-up between its Brazilian unit Tim Participacoes (TIMP3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and local group Oi (OIBR3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), it said as it announced the sale of mobile phone masts for more than 900 million euros ($1.1 billion).

Brazil’s telecom market is in the process of consolidating as growth in mobile telephony slows and operators bulk up to fund hefty investment in broadband networks.

Nov 21, 2014

Telecom Italia likely to sell Brazil towers to American Tower

BARCELONA/MILAN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Telecom Italia
will likely sell the mobile phone towers of its Brazilian unit
to American Tower Corp for almost the full targeted
amount of 900 million euros ($1.1 billion), two sources familiar
with the situation told Reuters.

According to one of the sources, a deal had already been
worked out and could be announced at a Telecom Italia board
meeting on Friday.

Nov 12, 2014

UBI says no Monte Paschi tie-up on the table for now

MILAN, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Italy’s fifth biggest bank UBI
Banca, tipped as a possible bidder for Monte dei Paschi
di Siena, could consider merger options in Italy and
Europe but has no proposals on the table for now, its chief
executive said on Wednesday.

“Would I consider something in Italy and Europe? Yes. But
there are no open dossiers on the table,” Victor Massiah said in
a conference call when asked about press speculation that his
bank could rescue Monte dei Paschi.