Shares in MPS bank jump on BNP Paribas buyout rumours

Consob extends ban on short-selling in troubled banks

(ANSA) - Rome, November 11 - Shares in troubled Monti dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank rose by up to 5% in trading Tuesday morning amid reports that BNP Paribas is considering making an takeover offer.
    BNP, a French multinational financial services firm headquartered in Paris, already operates in Italy through its subsidiary Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) and according to reports, could realize about three billion euros in savings by merging with MPS.
    Meanwhile, Italian market regulator Consob announced Tuesday that it would extend until January 27, 2015 its ban on short-selling shares in both MPS and Banca Carige.
    That ban was introduced at the end of October amid volatility in the share value of the two banks, which were identified as having serious capital shortfalls in extensive stress testing by the European Central Bank.
    Since that report, both banks have announced plans to deal with the shortfalls that, in the case of MPS, amounts to about 2.1 billion euros.
    However, the value of MPS shares have dropped dramatically since the ECB report.
    MPS has been troubled for some time, twice receiving government bailouts.
    It is still repaying the last government assistance received in early 2013 and raised about five billion euros in capital earlier this year to pay off its government debt and avoid nationalization.


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