Italian banks after the referendum

By The Economist online

THE first casualty was Matteo Renzi’s hold on office. As he had promised, Italy’s prime minister resigned on December 7th, three days after voters rejected his proposals to overhaul the constitution. The second is likely to be a planned private-sector recapitalisation of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the country’s third-biggest bank and the world’s oldest. As The Economist went to press, the scheme’s chances looked slim. A government rescue was reportedly being prepared.

Monte dei Paschi has been in trouble for years. It has already had two state bail-outs and frittered away €8bn ($10bn) raised in share sales in 2014 and 2015. Its stockmarket value has dwindled to €600m, having fallen by 85% this year (see chart). Its non-performing loans (NPLs), even after provisions, are 21.5% of its total; the gross figure is 35.5%. In July it fell ignominiously short in European stress tests, ranking 51st of 51 lenders. The European Central Bank, its supervisor, asked it to raise more capital by the end of the year. This week the bank asked for more time.

Pre-empting the test results, Monte dei…

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Category: Business and finance, Approved, Finance and economics, FINANCE

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