Pier Carlo Padoan, Italy’s former finance minister, has been named as the next chairman of UniCredit, the country’s largest financial institution by assets, the company said in a statement.

Mr Padoan, currently a member of parliament for the Democratic party, Italy’s junior coalition partner, has been appointed as a non-executive director to replace Elena Zambon, who resigned last month, and will serve as a board member until Unicredit’s annual general meeting later this year. 

The bank said Mr Padoan, 70, was “the best candidate for the position of chairman for the next term 2021-2023” and his candidacy had been vetted by rigorous internal processes. He will succeed Cesare Bisoni, who was named chairman after the sudden death of Fabrizio Saccomanni, another former finance minister, at the end of 2019.

Mr Padoan’s appointment comes at a crucial time for Italy’s fragmented banking sector as regulators and political institutions demand consolidation, which has been opposed by UniCredit chief executive Jean Pierre Mustier. 

Despite Intesa Sanpaolo’s takeover of UBI Banca, the country’s third-largest bank, Mr Mustier has rejected demands by the Italian government to buy Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The lender was bailed out with taxpayers’ money in 2017 by Mr Padoan’s ministry and is currently majority-owned by the state.

Bankers in Milan and government officials in Rome believe Mr Padoan’s appointment is a “conservative pick” and a clear signal that UniCredit will be forced to play a direct role in the consolidation of the Italian banking sector, despite Mr Mustier’s pushback.

“Padoan is a heavyweight in the country. His won’t be an honorary role. He’s going to have a strong say within the board,” said one person close to UniCredit.

According to two executives in Milan and one official in Rome, Mr Padoan’s appointment could pave the way for a



REUTERS/Toby Melville


© REUTERS/Toby Melville
REUTERS/Toby Melville

  • The London Stock Exchange agreed to sell Italy’s only stock market platform to Paris-headquartered Euronext for about $5 billion.
  • LSE said it opted to divest the Milan stock exchange to fulfill a condition for its acquisition of  data-provider Refinitiv, which is currently under review by the European Union’s executive arm.
  • The deal is politically sensitive, as the Italian government was debating whether to take back full control of Borsa Italiana earlier this year.
  • Euronext has partnered with Italy’s largest bank and state agency CDP to secure the Italian government’s backing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The London Stock Exchange agreed on Friday to sell Milan’s Borsa Italiana to pan-European stock operator Euronext for 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion).  

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The LSE said it began discussions with Paris-based Euronext last month and a share purchase agreement was signed on October 9.

The sale depends on LSE’s prospective $27 billion acquisition of data provider Refinitiv, the terms of which are under investigation by the European Commission. 

LSE said it opted to divest the Italian stock exchange to persuade the EU regulator to approve its takeover of Refinitiv.

“We believe the sale of the Borsa Italiana group will contribute significantly to addressing the EU’s competition concerns,” LSE CEO David Schwimmer said in a statement, adding that the exchange is making “good progress” on the Refinitiv deal.

The Refinitiv transaction is expected to be completed by early next year, while the Borsa Italiana deal is set to clear in the first half of 2021. 

Read moreCiti’s US equities chief warns of an ‘extreme peak’ in earnings revisions heading into the crucial reporting season — and explains why it makes stocks vulnerable to a pullback in the weeks ahead

Euronext, valued at about 7 billion

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the Italian payments group Nexi are pictured in Milan, Italy, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – The boards of Italian payment group Nexi NEXII.MI and smaller rival SIA will meet later on Sunday and are expected to agree terms for a long-discussed merger, two sources with knowledge of the deal said.

Nexi and SIA, which is controlled by Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), have been talking about a merger for more than a year and a half, but differences over pricing and governance have proved a sticking point.

The sources said the accord would be an all share deal, with Nexi getting about 70% of the merged company and SIA some 30%. Private equity funds own around 33% of Nexi and this holding is expected to translate into some 23% of the new concern, while CDP should have some 25% in total.

Full terms of the accord are expected to be released before markets open on Monday.

In recent weeks SIA has reached an agreement to keep UniCredit as a client and to extend the contract, removing a major hurdle in determining the company’s valuation in its talks with Nexi, sources said.

The payment sector has seen a wave of mergers and acquisitions, led by U.S. rivals seeking to build up their share of digital transactions.

French rival Worldline WLN.PA agreed to buy local peer Ingenico in February in a 7.8 billion euro deal that will create the fourth-biggest payments company in the world.

CDP has been looking for a deal with Nexi to create a national champion in the payment market and secure important financial infrastructure, sources said.

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Barbara Lewis

Source Article

(Bloomberg) — Italy’s Nexi SpA and SIA SpA are set to announce their merger after their boards meet Sunday to approve a deal to create one of Europe’s biggest payment providers, people familiar with the matter said.



a sign on the side of a train station: A pedestrian passes the Nexi SpA headquarters in Milan, Italy, on Monday, April 15, 2019. The initial public offering of payment-service company Nexi raised 2.01 billion euros ($2.3 billion), making it the biggest listing in Europe so far this year and the third major IPO of a payment-processing institution in the region in less than a year.


© Bloomberg
A pedestrian passes the Nexi SpA headquarters in Milan, Italy, on Monday, April 15, 2019. The initial public offering of payment-service company Nexi raised 2.01 billion euros ($2.3 billion), making it the biggest listing in Europe so far this year and the third major IPO of a payment-processing institution in the region in less than a year.

As part of the agreement, Nexi would approve a reserved capital increase for SIA shareholders, with no cash component, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Nexi would hold about 70% of the merged company and SIA 30%, they said. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA, SIA’s main investor, would have about 25% of the merged entity, the people said.

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Nexi and SIA spokespeople had no comment. The merger announcement could come soon as before the market opens on Monday, said the people. Newspaper Repubblica reported the news earlier.

The firms wrapped up more than a year of negotiations over a combination as payment providers across Europe look for deals that can add scale. Combining the two Italian companies would create a stronger competitor to France’s Worldline SA, which agreed in February to acquire Ingenico Group SA in a 7.8 billion-euro ($9.1 billion) deal.

Discussions have been on the brink of collapse several times over divergences on governance and valuations. In the last few weeks talks intensified after SIA reached an accord to keep Italian lender UniCredit SpA as its main client, a key sticking point in determining its valuation, people with knowledge of the matter

By Yoruk Bahceli

AMSTERDAM, Oct 2 (Reuters)Italy’s 10-year bond yield fell to a record low on Friday before a key reading is expected to show persistent deflation in the euro area, while investors favoured safe-haven assets after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

Investors will pour over the first estimate of euro zone inflation for September to gauge just how weak the euro zone economy is amid signs of divisions with the European Central Bank.

Economists in a Reuters poll expect euro zone inflation to have fallen 0.2% year-on-year in September, unchanged from August, the first time the rate was negative since 2016. But markets are likely primed for a lower figure after German and Italian inflation came in far below forecasts this week.

Meanwhile, investors globally shunned risk in favour of safe-haven assets as Trump’s positive test results added to uncertainty around the highly-contested election in November.

Demand for fixed income broadly pushed Italy’s 10-year yield to a record low at 0.75%, down 3 basis points on the day, according to Tradeweb, which cites the August 2030 benchmark.IT10YT=TWEB

Italian bonds continued to see support this week, despite talks of delays to the European Union’s recovery fund, after regional elections in late September reduced the risk of snap national elections.

Safe-haven German 10-year yields fell as low as -0.551% in early trade DE10YT=R just a touch off their lowest in nearly two months hit earlier this week. They were last down 1 basis point at -0.54%. DE10YT=RR

“With Trump testing positive and euro core inflation set to fall to a new record low, a payrolls miss could push Bunds to highs not seen since May,” said Commerzbank’s head of rates and credit research Christoph Rieger.

The 10-year German yield had fallen as low