MILAN Oct 10 Shares in Banco Popolare
and Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) rose sharply in
late afternoon trading on Monday as investors bet shareholders
will approve this week a planned merger to create Italy's
Analysts said the fact that a higher-than-expected number of
BPM shareholders had registered to attend an Oct. 15
extraordinary meeting due to vote on the tie-up increased the
likelihood the merger would pass.
BPM's employee-shareholders back the deal with Banco
Popolare after winning concessions on corporate welfare and
redundancies and they are now more likely to reach the
two-thirds majority needed to approve the merger -- which is
opposed by pensioner-shareholders.
Shareholders in Banco Popolare are widely expected to back
Banco Popolare's shares were up 6 percent shortly before the
market close, while BPM rose 5 percent.
(Reporting by Andrea Mandala)