Italy is offering to swap Monte Paschi shares held by former retail bondholders into senior debt. As Silvia Antonioli reports, the transaction would lift the Italian Treasury's stake in the troubled bank to over 67 percent.
It's the world's oldest bank still in business and after troubled times Monte dei Paschi shares are to soon start trading again Italy had to bail the bank out earlier this year and the government is now making good on a promise to protect small investors The bank is launching a plan on behalf of the state offering to swap shares held by former retail bondholders for senior debt. The state rescued the lender with a package worth some 8 billion euros but it had to convert small bondholders' debt into equity in order to meet EU rules shielding taxpayers by imposing losses on investors It is now offering to reverse that process. and in doing so, boosting its own share from 52 to 68 percent The government has said it wants to hold that stake with a a view to make a profit, in the long run. Monte dei Paschi shares- suspended since last December - are expected to restart trading in the second half of October