ROME, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The Italian Treasury paid out around 1 billion euros last year to close a derivatives contract before its natural termination, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told parliament on Wednesday.
Italy has lost billions of euros in recent years as a result of its use of derivatives contracts, triggering attacks from opposition parties which say the Treasury has been incompetent and want the contracts to be published.
In answer to parliamentary questions, Padoan said the mark-to-market value of derivative contracts entered into by the Treasury was a negative 37.8 billion euros ($39.75 billion) at the end of 2016, compared with -36.7 billion at the end of 2015.
The cash balance of the Treasury's operations in derivatives in 2016 was -4.2 billion euros, Padoan added.
$1 = 0.9510 euros Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Isla Binnie