Italy

Southern Italy has the worst graduate employment rates in the EU, according to new data published on Thursday which highlighted the impoverished region’s economic dysfunction, the Financial Times reported. Only one in three recent graduates is in employment in the area, less than half the EU average and the worst of any region in the bloc, including the poorest parts of Greece and Spain.

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Telecom Italia SpA Chairman Fulvio Conti is planning to resign in a move that signals the battle for influence between two of the phone carrier’s largest investors may be nearing an end, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. Fulvio Conti, 71, was appointed as chairman last year in a list proposed by Elliott Management Corp. as part of a board reshuffle won by the U.S. activist investor against the French media-conglomerate Vivendi SA. Conti’s resignation hasn’t been finalized and is expected to be discussed at a Sept. 26 board meeting, the people said.

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Italy’s prime minister has called on Brussels to allow Rome “a little bit of time” to cut its debt by investing in economic growth, in his first meeting with the incoming president of the European Commission, the Financial Times reported. Giuseppe Conte, who was this week sworn in by lawmakers as the leader of Italy’s new coalition government, said that he would not pursue policies that would risk financial stability after a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday with Ursula von der Leyen, the commission’s incoming head.

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A prolonged shadow-banking crisis and hurdles in bankruptcy rules are set to keep India atop the world’s worst bad-debt pile, even as Italy, which held the title previously, quickens the clean-up of its lenders, Bloomberg News reported. Moody’s Investors Service to Credit Suisse Group AG. warned that more loans may sour in the Asian nation’s banking system. More than 2.4% of total loans in India’s banking system may be under stress on top of the 9.6% bad debt ratio as of June, the highest among major economies, Credit Suisse estimates shows.

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La Perla, the indebted Italian lingerie brand owned by Lars Windhorst’s investment company, will list its shares on the Paris stock exchange to help access capital at a difficult time, Bloomberg News reported. La Perla, which has stores in London’s Sloane Street and St. Tropez, won’t raise any funds through the move, but the listing “will increase La Perla’s visibility and enhance access to capital," according to Chief Executive Officer Pascal Perrier. The company aims for a market capitalization of 473 million euros ($520 million) when shares are set to begin trading Friday in Paris.

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Italian bonds surged to take benchmark yields to a record low as talks progressed to form a new government, reducing the political risk of fresh elections for investors, Bloomberg News reported. Ten-year yields fell below 1% for the first time and their premium over Germany, a key gauge of risk in the nation, touched the lowest level since May last year when the previous coalition was being formed.

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Italy's bond yields tumbled on Tuesday amid growing investor expectations that its political crisis could be short-lived, potentially paving the way for a new coalition government and reducing the uncertainty of snap elections, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation as he made a blistering attack on his interior minister, Matteo Salvini, accusing him of sinking the ruling coalition for personal and political gain.

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The bond market used to like the idea of Matteo Salvini as Italy’s leader. Now it’s becoming worried. As League party leader Salvini attempts to force fresh elections, investors fear victory would embolden a new government to ramp up spending and clash with the European Union again over budget deficit limits, Bloomberg News reported. With the nation’s bonds having seen the biggest one-week selloff since the current coalition was formed in May last year, more turmoil is expected and could lead its borrowing costs to return to levels that could rattle global markets.

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A fresh bout of political instability in Italy is testing investors’ faith in a bond rally that has sent Rome’s borrowing costs tumbling this year, but bondholders are reluctant to head for the exit. Italian debt came under pressure on Friday after the far-right League tabled a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as party leader Matteo Salvini pulled the plug on Italy’s governing coalition, the Financial Times reported. The 10-year Italian bond yield rose by 0.23 percentage points to 1.76 per cent, extending the previous day’s rise.

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Italian regional bank Popolare di Sondrio (BPSI.MI) said on Thursday it would sell 1 billion euros’ ($1.1 billion) worth of bad loans to lower their share of total lending to around 8% by 2022, Reuters reported. The bank said it had booked 106 million euros in loan writedowns between January and June, raising its provisions on defaulted loans to 68.4% of their value, meaning the latest sale was not expected to have any further negative impact. Popolare di Sondrio held impaired loans equivalent to 13.65% of total lending at the end of June.

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