ITALY DAYBOOK: Monti Unveils Growth Plan; Unions Balk at Changes

Prime Minister Mario Monti presented his latest plan to boost Italy’s economic growth in Brussels yesterday as his government began talks with unions on a separate effort to overhaul labor-market rules.

EQUITIES:

*Fiat SpA will halt production at four car plants and one light commercial-vehicle facility for the first shift tomorrow because of a strike by truck drivers, said a Fiat spokesman, who declined to be named citing company policy. Output at the LCV plant in Sevel was already suspended for one shift today due to the strikes, the spokesman said. The car plants that will stop production are in Pomigliano, Melfi, Mirafiori and Cassino, the spokesman said.

*Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, Italy’s third-biggest bank, rose for the third consecutive session in Milan after the lender’s board approved measures to boost capital. The shares rose 14 percent, leading gains in the European Stoxx 600 Banks Index, and increased the most since June 1999.

*UniCredit SpA, Italy’s largest bank, received preliminary indications that individual investors will subscribe to almost all the stock available to them in the 7.5 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) rights offer, said two people briefed on the transaction.

ECONOMY:

*Italian authorities identified about 60 billion euros in unpaid income and sales tax last year as part of the country’s efforts to crack down on tax evasion, the Finance Police said. Authorities uncovered more than 50 billion euros in unpaid income tax and more than 8 billion euros in evaded sales tax. Officials identified 7,500 companies and individuals with hidden income of more than 21 billion euros who had not declared any earnings, according to the statement.

MARKETS:

*The benchmark FTSE MIB Index rose 1.76 percent to 15,907.52.

*The 10-year Italian yield dropped 14 basis points, or 0.14 percentage point, to 6.11 percent at 4:49 p.m. London time, the least since Dec. 8.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey Donovan at jdonovan26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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