Stefano's Feed
Dec 1, 2014

After stress tests, tougher questions coming for Europe’s banks from ECB

FRANKFURT/ROME, Dec 1 (Reuters) – After subjecting European
banks to year-long “stress tests” of their balance sheets, the
European Central Bank is now planning a deeper examination to
see whether their businesses are sufficiently profitable,
efficient and well-run.

For lenders in crowded markets such as Germany and Italy,
this “business model review” may prove a tougher one to pass,
raising pressure on weaker players to consolidate, increase
capital, cancel dividends or alter how they operate.

Oct 31, 2014

Former Monte Paschi management convicted as crisis mounts

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – The former top managers of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) were sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail on Friday over a 2009 derivatives scandal from which the bank is still struggling to recover.

Former Chairman Giuseppe Mussari, former Chief Executive Antonio Vigni and former finance chief Gianluca Baldassari were all found guilty of misleading regulators over risky derivative trades meant to conceal mounting losses.

Oct 31, 2014

Monte Paschi’s options dwindle as Intesa rules out tie-up

ROME/MILAN, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
ruled out stepping in to take over rival Banca Monte
dei Paschi di Siena on Friday, leaving the struggling
Tuscan lender still searching for fresh capital to meet
regulatory requirements.

The future for Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest bank, is
uncertain after European Central Bank (ECB) stress tests left it
needing 2.1 billion euros ($2.6 billion) to meet capital
thresholds designed to ensure the stability of the banking

Oct 13, 2014

Atlantia planning sale of minority stake in Rome airports: sources

ROME (Reuters) – Italian motorway company Atlantia will put up for sale a stake of up to 20 percent in airport operator Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) this year as part of plans to cut its holding in ADR to around 60 percent, three sources said on Monday.

The highway group, which currently owns 96 percent of ADR, has hired consultants to advise on the sale and will likely offer the stake to institutional investors and sovereign funds, two of the sources said.

Oct 10, 2014

Berlusconi’s Fininvest ordered to sell 20 percent stake in Mediolanum

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Fininvest, the holding company of Silvio Berlusconi, must sell a 20 percent stake in Mediolanum (MED.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) because Italy’s central bank no longer considers the former prime minister fit to own more than 10 percent of a financial company.

Asset manager and insurer Mediolanum is in the process of registering as a bank, thus falling under the supervision of the Bank of Italy, which Fininvest said had requested the stake sale because of Berlusconi’s conviction for tax fraud last year.

Sep 25, 2014

EU markets watchdog tells banks to investigate stress test rumors

ROME/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Union’s markets watchdog has warned banks they must investigate any rumors about how they have fared in the European Central Bank’s banking sector health check, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Any leaks or market rumors have the potential to distort share prices of the 131 euro zone banks undergoing the ECB assessment, ranging from international titans such as Deutsche Bank to national champions including Bank of Ireland and Bank of Cyprus.

Aug 7, 2014

Monte Paschi posts worse than expected loss as bad loan charges rise

MILAN, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Italy’s third biggest bank, Monte
dei Paschi di Siena, posted a worse-than-expected loss
in the second quarter as charges on souring loans rose,
underlining the challenges the bailed-out lender still faces to
turn itself around.

The bank, which received 4.1 billion euros ($5.47 billion)
in state aid last year, said the net loss in the three months
between April and June stood at 178.9 million euros.

Jun 27, 2014

Monte Paschi raises 4.99 bln euros in rights issue

MILAN, June 27 (Reuters) – Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena said on Friday it had raised 4.99 billion euros
($6.81 billion) through the sale of new shares, boosting its
capital base and increasing the chances it could pass an EU
review of bank assets.

Monte dei Paschi, Italy’s No.3 bank by branches, is one of
15 Italian lenders targeted in a health check of euro zone
lenders by the European Central Bank before it takes over
supervision of the sector in November.

Jun 6, 2014

Monte Paschi says may need more capital after ECB review

MILAN/ROME, June 6 (Reuters) – Bailed-out Italian bank Monte
dei Paschi di Siena has warned its 5 billion euro
($6.9 billion euros) share issue may not be enough to bolster
its balance sheet if EU regulators force it to set aside more
cash to cover for bad loans.

In a 515-page prospectus for the cash call, due to start on
Monday, Italy’s third-largest bank said it could need further
capital-strengthening measures after the European Central Bank
(ECB) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) complete their
review of lenders across the euro zone.

May 21, 2014

Monte Paschi shareholders approve 5-billion euro share sale

SIENA (Reuters) – Shareholders in Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena approved a proposal to boost the size of an upcoming share sale to 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) to help it absorb a hit on its finances it expects from a Europe-wide bank health check.

At an extraordinary meeting in the bank’s hometown of Siena, shareholders overwhelmingly agreed to raise the capital increase, initially planned at 3 billion euros, by two billion euros. The new amount is twice the bank’s current market value.