Italy

New restructuring commitments agreed by Italy and the European Union over state-owned bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) include disposals worth up to 400 million euros ($391 million), a document showed on Monday, Reuters reported. The text of the EU Commission's decision that extended an end-2021 deadline for Rome to sell its stake in the Tuscan bank also showed Italy had committed to keeping the management of its holdings in various state-owned banks separate.
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European Central Bank policymakers see no need to step in and buy more Italian government bonds via a new emergency scheme despite a rise in the country's borrowing costs since a right-wing coalition won a general election, sources told Reuters. Analysts have been speculating about whether the ECB would activate its Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI) to stem a rise in Italian bond yields and spreads driven by concerns about public finances under a new government promising lower taxes.
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The European Commission signed off Tuesday on the next 21-billion-euro ($20.2 billion) tranche of Italy’s pandemic recovery funds, a welcome infusion that comes amid questions about whether Giorgia Meloni and her euroskeptic party, which won the national election, will be able to keep the funding coming, the Associated Press reported.
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Monte dei Paschi di Siena faces a tight schedule to secure cornerstone shareholders for a share sale of up to 2.5 billion euros ($2.4 billion) after an election pause during which investors were non-committal ended on Monday, Reuters reported. After leading the conservative alliance to victory in Sunday's vote, Giorgia Meloni looks set to become Italy's first woman prime minister at the head of its most right-wing government since World War Two. Maurizio Leo, a senior economic adviser to the Brothers of Italy leader Meloni, said MPS was in good hands.
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The Bank of Italy has cleared a multi-billion euro buyout bid for infrastructure group Atlantia proposed by the Benetton family and U.S. fund Blackstone, the two bidders said in a statement on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The Benetton family and the U.S. fund, who have joined forces through investment vehicle Schema Alfa, aim to take the Italian airport and motorway operator private by the end of this year. They are offering Atlantia's investors 23 euros per share and a proposed dividend of 0.74 euros a share.
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Delta Air Lines Inc. and Air France-KLM won their joint bid for ITA Airways, entering exclusive talks with the Italian government over plans to privatize the carrier formerly known as Alitalia, the Wall Street Journal reported. Italy’s Finance Ministry said on Wednesday that a bid from the consortium, which also includes investment firm Certares Management LLC, emerged as the most suitable as the government seeks to hand over control of the reincarnated flag carrier. The government said a final deal isn’t certain.
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The Italian government said on Thursday it was preparing a new multi-billion euro package to help shield firms and families from surging energy prices, after the country's main business lobby warned of a looming "economic earthquake," Reuters reported. Carlo Bonomi, chief of employers' association Confindustria, said in a radio interview that with energy costs for Italian industry among the highest in Europe, gas prices needed to be capped either at the European or domestic level. Bonomi said that businesses cannot wait for a new government to be installed after elections on Sept.
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Italy has picked a group led by U.S. private equity fund Certares, backed by Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines Inc., for exclusive talks on buying a majority stake in ITA Airways, the Treasury said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The offer, details of which were not made public, would leave the Treasury with "at least" a 40% stake in ITA and the right to appoint the company's chairman and exercise a veto on certain "strategic choices", a source told Reuters.
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Italy's outgoing government is pressing ahead with plans to sell a majority stake in ITA Airways and hopes to choose its preferred bidder by the end of the month, Reuters reported. The government had aimed to complete the part-privatisation of the successor to Alitalia over the summer, but asked the two rival consortia to review their initial offers as it deemed they did not meet its goals. They have until midnight (2200 GMT) on Monday to do so. Shipping group MSC and Germany's Lufthansa are facing a rival bid led by U.S.
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Britain's accounting watchdog said on Monday it had fined auditor PwC 1.75 million pounds ($2.12 million) after it failed to properly challenge UK telecoms group BT once a half-a-billion pound fraud was discovered in BT's Italian operations, Reuters reported. BT's full-year financial statement for the year ended March 31, 2017, had to be adjusted by 513 million pounds due to the fraud, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said.
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