Moody's says Italy in 'momentum phase' with reforms

Says economy ministry GDP estimates 'reasonable'

(ANSA) - Milan, March 4 - Thorsten Nestmann, vice president and senior analyst with Moody's Investors Service, on Friday said that Italy was in a "momentum phase" regarding reforms, and that the government's estimate that reforms will grow GDP 1.8% between now and 2020 is "reasonable".
    "Instability has been a problem for Italy for many years.
    The outlook for potential governments that last longer is, in our view, positive, and heads in the right direction," Nestmann said.
    The government's new public guarantee on non-performing loans (GACS, in its Italian acronym) will result in a "rather modest" reduction on non-performing loans, which amount to 200 billion euros, but within three years should be reduced by one-fifth, said Carlo Gori, vice president and senior analyst in Moody's Financial Institutions Group.
    Gori called it a "useful but not decisive measure" and said that Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) should find a partner, especially given that it has undergone a process of securitization.
    Gori said the market reaction to banks since the beginning of the year has been "excessive" and that banks are "much more solid than in 2008, with capital doubled".
    Gori said the market is less liquid and more volatile because investment banks have left the capital market.


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