Salem Radio Network News Friday, December 3, 2021

Business

UniCredit, Italy Treasury end talks over potential sale of Monte dei Paschi

By Pamela Barbaglia and Valentina Za

LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) -Italy’s economy minister and UniCredit said on Sunday they had called off negotiations over the potential sale of ailing lender Monte dei Paschi (MPS) to UniCredit.

“Despite the effort from both sides, UniCredit and the Ministry of Economy and Finance announce that the negotiations pertaining to the potential acquisition of a defined perimeter of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena will no longer continue,” they said in a joint statement.

The announcement comes after two sources told Reuters on Saturday UniCredit and the Treasury were preparing to stop talks over the sale of MPS, after efforts to reach an agreement over a costly recapitalisation plan had failed.

The decision to end talks complicates efforts by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government to meet a mid-2022 deadline agreed with European Union authorities to re-privatise the bank Rome rescued in 2017.

Rome will now have to gain clearance from Brussels to pump more money into Monte dei Paschi without a plan in hand to cut the state’s 64% stake. It will also have to negotiate a new agreement with European authorities over its exit.

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London and Valentina Za in Milan; additional reporting by Giulio Piovaccari in Milan, Giuseppe Fonte in Rome and Francesco Canepa in Frankfurt. Editing by Frances Kerry, Mike Harrison and David Evans)

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