Monte dei Paschi shares boosted

City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in Monte dei Paschi di Siena rose more than five per cent in early trade yesterday after the top investor in the Italian bank said it would vote against a planned rights issue unless its launch was delayed until at least 12 May.

The bank was planning to start the capital increase in January but Fondazione Monte dei Paschi wants more time as it is looking to sell all or part of its 33.5 per cent stake in the bank to pay back around €350m (£293m) of debt. The foundation said on Friday it would propose delaying the cash call at a meeting with other shareholders on 27 December.

The stock has fallen heavily over the past two weeks as investors sold shares ahead of the approaching capital increase, which is expected to be priced at a significant discount.

“In the current environment it is not easy to decipher and anticipate the moves of the bank’s top managers, though they had given detailed reasons for wanting to swiftly proceed with the capital increase at the beginning of 2014,” broker ICBPI said in a note.