Italian lenders tap the market

ITALIAN bank Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) yesterday launched a €500m (£411m) capital increase, beginning a new round of fundraising within the sector to meet European Banking Authority stress tests.

The issue, which will be open until 23 May, will offer nine new shares for every twenty five owned by investors, priced at €0.43 each.

Nine of the fifteen Italian banks under scrutiny by the EBA are set to raise more capital this year.

Shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena jumped 3.76 per cent yesterday as it cut its total share issue ahead of a €5bn capital raise.