Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

MPS holds shareholder meeting on 4% ownership rule


Siena, July 18 - Troubled Italian bank Monte dei
Paschi di Siena (MPS) held an extraordinary shareholders'
meeting on Thursday on whether to abolish its 4% ceiling on
voting rights for stakeholders other than the Fondazione Monte
dei Paschi di Siena (MPS Foundation).
Also on the agenda is the status of board member Michele
Briamonte, who was given a two-month suspension by a judge after
Briamonte was placed under investigation for insider trading.
The world's oldest working bank and Italy's third largest,
MPS is majority-owned and controlled by the non-profit,
city-controlled MPS Foundation, which is deeply associated with
the affairs of Siena and has drawn criticism as an instrument of
left-wing politicians and city government.
The MPS Foundation been particularly under pressure since
the bank became embroiled in scandal amid massive losses and
political furore over the previous Italian government's
3.9-billion-euro bailout plan to cover its capital needs, which
also threatens the bank with state-control should it default.
On Thursday, MPS Foundation Chairman Gabriello Mancini told
the assembly that "removing the 4% statutory limitation on stock
ownership" was "inevitable and could not be put off" given the
vigilance and wishes of the economy ministry.
Mancini also urged the MPS Foundation to act as an active
"protagonist" in the search for new investment partners to
become shareholders of reference.
Siena Mayor Bruno Valentini criticized timing the vote when
the MPS Foundation "was so discredited as to risk being the
doormat of others" in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper
published Thursday.
At the same time, Valentini said Siena "will not defend
municipal corporatism" and will accept "market challenges for
the local bank".
Still, Valentini called for a "soft landing" for changes in
the bank's governance.
Investigations into the bank began early this year after it
emerged that a previously undisclosed series of derivative and
structured-finance deals produced losses of around 720 million
euros for MPS.
Senior officials from MPS are facing penalties totalling as
much as five million euros from the Bank of Italy for alleged
fraud and corruption.
Giuseppe Mussari, the former chairman of MPS, and two other
ex-MPS executives face trial on September 26 on obstruction of
justice charges.

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