Italian banks in renewed post-referendum scramble for cash

 
Hayley Kirton
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Unicredit is widely thought to be about to announce a bumper rights issue (Source: Getty)

Italian banks will renew their efforts to sort their ailing finances this week as they assess the fallout of the country's recent referendum.

Unicredit, Italy's largest lender by assets, is widely expected to announce a rights issue for as much as €13bn (£10.9bn) when it hosts its capital markets day on Tuesday.

The highly anticipated move will be the latest in chief executive Jean Pierre Mustier's turnaround plan for the bank.

The former Societe Generale banker took up his role in July and has already been sat at the helm of the Italian bank as it entered exclusive talks to sell its asset management division to Amundi for €3.5bn and ditched its interest in Polish Bank Pekao, pulling in €2.4bn from two Polish state organisations in the process.

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Meanwhile, executives at Italy's oldest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena have been working desperately to pin down the financing for a rescue plan to bolster its capital by €5bn.

The lender revealed late last week it had not heard back from the European Central Bank about its request to have the deadline for its plan extended to 20 January, and was now pushing ahead to have everything in place by the end of the year.

The board is due to meet today to discuss the plans in more detail.

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The 'no' vote in the Italian referendum has caused some upset for lenders. The vote outcome lead to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who had been reported over the summer to be fighting tooth and nail to arrange a capital injection for the struggling banking system, announcing his resignation.

Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni was today asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new government for the country.

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