Shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena — the world’s oldest bank, and the third largest lender in Italy — are going crazy on Monday after rumours that Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi is urging other banks to put in takeover bids.
Just after 11:00 a.m. GMT (6:00 a.m. ET) shares in the bank are up by 7.2%, having popped as much as 13% at the open. Here’s how that looks:
In percentage terms, the move is pretty substantial, but when it comes to the actual value of shares, they have jumped from €0.57 to €0.61 per share. Hardly stratospheric.
As first reported by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and subsquently by Bloomberg, prime minister Renzi is apparently trying to convince fellow bank Intesa Sanpaolo, and state-owned lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, amongst others, to put in a bid for Monte dei Paschi.
Monte dei Paschi was first founded in Siena in 1472, making it the oldest existing bank on earth, but in recent years it has had an horrific time, with profits and revenues tanking, and shares losing more than 99% of their value since the pre-financial crisis years. There are also big fears about the amount of poor quality assets and loans the bank has on its books. The bank’s chief executive, Fabrizio Viola, is currently in the middle of a battle to make it profitable again, by, amongst other things, dumping risky assets.
Here’s how the bank’s share price catastrophe looks, thanks to Bank of America Merrill Lynch: