ROME Oct 2 Italy's economy minister has called
a meeting with some of the country's top bankers on Monday to
discuss stalled efforts to sell four small banks that were
rescued from bankruptcy last year, sources said.
Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco was expected to join
the gathering, which comes just days after sources said the
European Union had agreed to extend a Sept. 30 deadline for the
sale of the troubled lenders.
Il Messaggero newspaper reported at the weekend that the
European Central Bank had rejected a plan put forward by UBI
Banca to buy three of the four banks -- Banca Marche, Banca
Etruria and CariChieti.
It said the ECB was demanding that UBI should raise 600
million euros in fresh capital if it wanted to pursue the deal.
UBI was only prepared to raise a maximum 400 million euros, the
paper added in its unsourced article.
The ECB declined to comment on the story.
"The meeting is planned for (Monday) afternoon. There is
only one item on the agenda; how to find a solution for the
(four) banks," said a source, who declined to be named.
"Frankfurt (the ECB) is putting up ever more hurdles. We
have to find a solution now because we can't carry on with this
uncertainty," the source said.
Another source said the meeting would be held in the
Two other sources looked to play down the encounter, saying
it was a routine gathering of senior bankers, like others
already held in Rome earlier this year, with no major
Besides Visco, the head of banking oversight in Italy,
Carmelo Barbagallo, was also expected to attend the meeting,
along with managers from Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit
. Senior executives from UBI would probably
also be present, a source said.
(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Gianluca Semeraro; Editing
by Crispian Balmer)