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Potential foreign investors for MPS Foundation share in bank

No Italian institutions in the hunt for group's shares

04 February, 18:26
Potential foreign investors for MPS Foundation share in bank (ANSA) - Siena, February 4 - The president of the MPS Foundation linked to troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) is in contact with potential foreign buyers for the foundation's share in the troubled bank, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

The MPS Foundation controls 33.5% of the bank itself and President Antonella Mansi was quoted as saying there are interested purchasers for the share.

However, she added, none are Italian institutions.

MPS is at the center of a judicial investigation into its acquisition of smaller rival Antonveneta in 2008, allegedly at a suspiciously low price, as well as up to 750 million euros in secret derivatives trades the bank allegedly used to conceal losses.

Former chairman Giuseppe Mussari and former director-general Antonio Vigni, who left in early 2012, are both under investigation for market manipulation, making false statements to the market, and regulatory obstruction in relation to the Antonveneta deal and the derivatives trades.

Both deny any wrongdoing.

The bank has also been hit by massive losses and political furore over the previous Italian government's 3.9-billion-euro bailout plan to cover its capital needs.