MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) has further reduced its legal claims to 4.9 billion euros ($5.8 billion), a slide on the Tuscan bank’s website showed, marking another step in Rome’s efforts to reprivatise the ailing lender.
MPS initially faced some 10 billion euros in legal risks, seen as one of the main hurdles to Italian Treasury’s plans to cut its 64% stake in the bank by mid-2022, as agreed as part of a 2017 state bailout.
MPS’ board on Thursday approved a settlement deal with the bank’s former top investor, local banking foundation Fondazione Monte dei Paschi, reducing the risks by 3.8 billion euros.
According to the slide, Monte dei Paschi’s legal risks stood at 4.9 billion euros as of June 30, of which 2.2 billion euros were classified as probable and for which provisions of 1 billion euros had been booked.
The Treasury has been working to offload MPS to healthier rival UniCredit and the parties agreed to enter exclusive talks over the bailed out bank last week.
Under the terms set by UniCredit to start negotiations, the Milanese bank will be shielded from any non-ordinary legal risks weighing on MPS following years of mismanagement.
Reuters had reported the Treasury was working to more than halve MPS’ legal risks.
($1 = 0.8457 euros)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Valentina Za)