Italy starts sale of 20% Monte dei Paschi stake to investors

Italy's problem bank casts a long shadow over Draghi's summer break

View of the entrance to the headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), the oldest bank in the world, which is facing massive layoffs as part of a planned corporate merger, in Siena, Italy, August 11, 2021. Picture taken August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

ROME, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Italy’s Treasury said on Monday it had hired banks to place investors shares in Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) (BMPS.MI) equivalent to around 20% of the bailed out lender’s capital.

Shares in MPS closed flat at 3.07 euros, valuing the bank at around 3.8 billion euros ($4.1 billion).

Chief Executive Luigi Lovaglio used cash from a capital raise a year ago to fund thousands of staff exits, bolstering income through cost cuts.

With higher interest rates driving banks’ profits higher, MPS has forecast net profit would top 1.1 billion euros this year.

BofA Securities, Jefferies and UBS Europe are global coordinators for the accelerated bookbuilding, it said.

Commitments Italy agreed with European Union competition authorities at the time of the Tuscan bank’s 5.4-billion-euro ($5.9 billion) bailout in 2017 bind Rome to eventually selling its 64% stake in the bank.

Reuters was first to report in May that the Treasury was open to reducing its stake via a share sale on the market, as long as any significant new investor managed the holding in line with the national interest.

($1 = 0.9168 euros)

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Valentina Za; editing by Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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