Italy’s Monte dei Paschi seeks new investor to revive lender

City A.M. Reporter

IAN bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is seeking a financial investor to help revive the ailing lender and will remove a current cap on voting rights to help raise €1bn (£822.5m), its chairman has said.

“I would like to have a long-term financial investor,” Alessandro Profumo told Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore in an interview published yesterday.

“Nationality is not a problem. The important thing is that it believes in our project”.

Late on Saturday the Bank of Italy gave its approval to Monte Paschi’s request for €3.9bn of state loans, which Profumo said would be issued by February. The central bank’s backing was the final stage required to free up the financial help for Italy’s third-biggest lender, which this week revealed loss-making derivatives trades that could cost it about €720m.

Profumo said he was confident the bank would generate enough cash to pay back the state bailout over the next five years and may not need to turn to investors to raise the €6.5bn. “We believe in this. The objective is to return to profits already during the course of this year,” he said.