Intesa says it may help bankroll Alitalia
Italian bank wants airline to demonstrate development plans02 October, 15:52
However, Intesa Sanpaolo's first responsibility is to its shareholders, warned Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, chairman of the bank's management board.
"We advance money to companies that have development potential," he said.
"If Alitalia will prove that (it has that potential) we will do our duty," to support a key player in Italy's transportation sector, he said.
He noted that a national transportation system is a crucial element in a country's competitiveness.
Premier Enrico Letta and senior cabinet ministers have been encouraging Italian banks to support the troubled airline, which said it lost 294 million euro in the first six months of 2013.
And on Tuesday, Economic Development Minister Flavio Zanonato said he felt confident that the banks were willing to find ways to help Alitalia.
Alitalia's board of directors approved a 100-million-euro capital increase plan at a board meeting last week, heightening speculation that Air France and KLM, which together own about 25% of the Italian carrier, may further increase their holdings.
The airline has called an extraordinary shareholders meeting on October 14 to formally approve the capital plan.