Italy’s government is watching with concern a rout in domestic banking shares but the system is solid, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The Milan market’s Italian banking stocks index has fallen 24 percent this year as investors’ attention has turned to a high level of bad loans amid the wider concerns for global economic growth in financial markets.
Monte dei Paschi, Italy’s third-largest bank and the most vulnerable among top lenders, has borne the brunt of the fall, shedding 59 percent of its value since the end of 2015.
“We’re vigilant and concerned about tensions in the banking sector, though it could even be an opportunity,” Renzi told financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
“The system is much more solid than some investors rightly fear … Current events will ease mergers, tie-ups, purchases.”
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