November 7, 2018 / 4:34 PM / in 12 days

Exclusive: Italians inquire about moving money abroad - Banca Mediolanum CEO

FILE PHOTO - Massimo Doris, Chief Operation Officer of Banca Mediolanum, poses for a photo before a news conference in downtown Milan April 19, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - Clients of one of Italy’s biggest asset managers, Banca Mediolanum, have been asking about ways to move their savings abroad, worried about volatile Italian markets, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Italian government bonds and the Milan stock market have slumped since a new populist, eurosceptic government took office in June, raising concerns that the euro zone’s third-largest economy could leave the single currency.

The government has failed to fully reassure inventors about its commitment to keep the country in the euro.

“The country is sound for sure. I don’t think that the debts will not be repaid nor that it (Italy) might leave the euro .... but all this uncertainty is creating tensions and fear among investors,” Massimo Doris told Reuters in an interview.

“There are clients who ask us if they can trust government bonds, a question they did not put to us last year. Of course we reassure them,” Doris said.

“Some clients are asking us about ways to move some of their money abroad, in a transparent and legal way. And this too is a kind of question they did not put to us last year.”

Markets have sold off on fears that the government's proposed 2019 budget could add to its mountain of public debt. The FTSE MIB index of Italian blue chips .FTMIB is down almost 20 percent since mid May.

The spread between Italy’s 10-year BTP bonds and their German equivalent rose to five-and-a-half-year highs in October, on a clash between the government and the European Commission over a next year’s draft budget.

The Commission has asked Italy, which targets a deficit at 2.4 percent of GDP next year, to modify the draft budget, but so far Rome has shown no will to comply.

Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro, writing by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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