March 23, 2020 / 5:04 AM / 5 days ago

Italy - Factors to watch on March 23

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Monday.

Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).

For a complete list of diary events in Italy please click on .

POLITICS

Italy banned travel within the country on Sunday in yet another attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with data showing a further 651 people had died from the disease, lifting the number of fatalities to 5,476.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late on Saturday he would freeze all non-essential business activity after previous measures failed to peg back the contagion, which emerged a month ago in the wealthy north before slowly advancing southwards.

Italy is close to approving measures to bolster the special powers it has over key industries to ward off unwanted foreign interest, officials said on Sunday. (*) Italy's government "will use all available instruments" to relaunch the economy after the coronavirus outbreak, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told La Stampa in an interview on Monday. He said Rome was studying new measures to support firms through the crisis, including accelerating investment spending and simplifying bureaucracy.

Conte added that the whole of Europe will face a recession, and that a powerful, efficient and immediate answer from Europe was needed.

(*) ECONOMY

The measures adopted by the European Central Bank in response to the coronavirus emergency are sufficient and effective but the bank is ready to do more if necessary, a member of its Governing Council, Ignazio Visco, said on Monday.

"The impact (on the Italian economy) this year will be high, but the adopted policies will limit its strength and length," Visco added.

DEBT

Treasury announces sale of CTZ and BTPei bonds, with relative amounts to be auctioned on March 26.

COMPANIES

FTSE share indexes revision effective as of Monday: Banca Mediolanum replaces Juventus FC in Italian blue-chip index FTSE Mib.

BANKS

The Bank of Italy said on Friday it had introduced a series of temporary measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the country's banking and financial system.

(*) BANCO BPM

The Italian bank has closed 600 branches out of 1700 and 350 branches are open only twice a week due to the coronavirus outbreak, its chief executive Alberto Castagna told L'Economia-Il Corriere della Sera.

CERVED

The Italian financial group said on Saturday talks to sell its debt collection arm to Europe's biggest loan recovery firm, Intrum, had fallen through due to the coronavirus outbreak that is wrecking Italy's economy.

ENI

Exxon Mobil is likely to delay the greenlighting of its $30 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique as the coronavirus disrupts early works and a depressed gas market makes investors wary, six sources told Reuters. The Rovuma LNG project was expected to get the go-ahead in the first half of 2020. Rovuma LNG is managed by Mozambique Rovuma Venture, a joint venture owned 35.7% each by Exxon and Eni with the remaining stake of 28.6% held by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

POSTE ITALIANE

The group said on Friday it has postponed its shareholders' meeting to May 15 due to the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic. The 2019 annual financial report will be published by March 25. The dividend payment date is confirmed on June 24.

ATLANTIA

The infrastructure group said on Saturday it had signed an insurance contract to cover its 13,500 Italy-based employees against coronavirus.

Atlantia's motorway unit Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI) said on Saturday it would put some 1,500 employees under Italy's temporary lay-off scheme for 9 weeks, from March 23 to May 24, in response to a significant drop in motorway traffic following the government's measures curbing citizens' movements.

Alessandro Benetton, one of the scions of the Benetton family, called on the Milan bourse to suspend share trading for one month or so amid the coronavirus emergency. In an interview with Italian daily La Stampa published on Saturday, the son of Luciano Benetton said that the plunge in stock prices recorded by Milan-listed companies in recent weeks made Italian groups vulnerable to takeovers by foreign groups. The Benetton family owns a 30% stake in Atlantia through its holding company Edizione.

(*) FIAT CHRYSLER

India's biggest automaker Maruti Suzuki India and peers, including Fiat Chrysler, said they will halt car production in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.

(*) CNH INDUSTRIAL

The truck and tractor maker said on Friday it was suspending most of its European assembly operations for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, citing supply chain constraints.

(*) CNH INDUSTRIAL, EXOR

The board of CNH Industrial accepted the resignation of chief executive Hubertus Mulhauser, with immediate effect, and appointed Suzanne Heywood, who is also managing director of Exor, as Acting CEO, until a new permanent chief executive has been identified. The board also appointed Oddone Incina as Chief Financial Officer.

MONCLER

Invesco held 3.333% of luxury group as of March 13, according to a regulatory filing.

LUXOTTICA

Eyewear maker Luxottica said on Sunday it was suspending all its Italian activities following the latest coronavirus clampdown.

MONDADORI

Oddone Pozzi resigned as CFO and financial reporting manager effective from 3 June.

BREMBO, AMPLIFON

Italy's premium brakes producer Brembo and hearing aid maker Amplifon have both scrapped their dividend proposals to retain earnings to face impact due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

(*) TOD'S

The luxury group said on Monday it would suspend all production until April 3 as required by the new measures approved by the Italian government.

(*) PIRELLI

The group said on Sunday it would suspend production at its Italian factories in Settimo Torinese and Bolalte following the latest decree approved by the government.

(*) DE LONGHI

The group announced it halted the production at its Italian factory, while the Chinese and Romanian plants, as well as all international logistic and distribution activities, are not affected by the latest Italy's government decree.

RETELIT

The fibre-optic network group said its subsidiary Retelit Digital Services had obtained a 53.2 million euros loan for the acquisition of Brennercom, which is expected to take place by July 2020.

(*) RENO DE MEDICI

The group said that its production is among the so-called essential activities identified by the latest government decree and will not be stopped.

DIARY

AIFI-PwC hold news conference, via conference call, to present twice-yearly report on Italian private equity and venture capital market (1000 GMT).

For Italian market data and news, click on codes in brackets:

20 biggest gainers (in percentage)............

20 biggest losers (in percentage).............

FTSE IT allshare index

FTSE Mib index........

FTSE Allstars index...

FTSE Mid Cap index....

Block trades..........

Stories on Italy...... IT-LEN

For pan-European market data and news, click on codes in brackets: European Equities speed guide................... FTSEurofirst 300 index.............................. DJ STOXX index...................................... Top 10 STOXX sectors........................... Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................... Top 10 Eurofirst 300 sectors................... Top 25 European pct gainers....................... Top 25 European pct losers........................ Main stock markets: Dow Jones............... Wall Street report ..... Nikkei 225............. Tokyo report............ FTSE 100............... London report........... Xetra DAX............. Frankfurt market stories CAC-40................. Paris market stories... World Indices..................................... Reuters survey of world bourse outlook......... Western European IPO diary.......................... European Asset Allocation........................ Reuters News at a Glance: Equities............... Main currency report:...............................

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