ROME Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday troubled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) is likely to launch a capital increase before the end of the year, and fellow lender Unicredit (CRDI.MI) will also probably seek fresh capital.
Monte dei Paschi needs to complete a cash call for up to 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) by the end of 2016, but several banking sources have said recently this may take place at the beginning of 2017.
"The conditions are in place for the Monte Paschi capital increase to take place this year," Renzi said in a television interview with state broadcaster RAI.
($1 = 0.8889 euros)
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones)