(Adds minister comments on Monte Paschi CEO, background)
MILAN Oct 3 Italy's economy minister said on
Monday that nationalising troubled Italian banks was not
necessary, as concerns mounted that a plan to rescue lender
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena might come unstuck.
Answering a question on whether nationalising banks in
crisis would be a drama, Pier Carlo Padoan, said: "I don't see
the need (for nationalisation)."
Monte dei Paschi has agreed a new turnaround plan based on a
5-billion-euro ($5.6 billion) cash call and the sale of 28
billion of bad loans, but investors' appetite is in doubt as
markets fret over political uncertainty and a Dec. 4 referendum.
Last month, the bank appointed the former Italy head of Bank
of America Merrill Lynch, Marco Morelli, as its new
chief executive last month to drum up support for the plan.
The share sale is the bank's third recapitalisation in as
many years and investors are growing increasingly worried the
lender may have to turn to the government for support.
"At this moment the bank is preparing an overall plan that I
think is a good one," Padoan said in a video-conferenced
interview from Rome.
He denied the government played any "intrusive" role in the
appointment of Morelli, pointing out the bank's board had voted
unanimously for him.
The government is Monte dei Paschi's leading shareholder
with a stake of about 4 percent.
"There won't be any alternative plans but an offer to the
market that I am convinced will be a success," Padoan said.
The Tuscan bank emerged as the weakest lender in Europe-wide
stress tests in 2014 and again in July and the government of
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has made helping it a priority.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Writing by Stephen Jewkes;
Editing by Louise Ireland)