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ITALY DAYBOOK: Italy Aims to Cut Spending, Salini Presentation

The Italian government aims to cut state spending by 20 billion euros ($26.4 billion) to 25 billion euros, newspaper Corriere della Sera reported. The spending review, which will be presented in a few days, has a “fundamental role” in Prime Minister Mario Monti’s plan to reduce debt, Corriere reported.

Measures being considered include slashing rent costs by relocating to vacant public buildings and bringing together agencies, Corriere said. The plan may also increase the role of Consip, the government agency that runs public tenders, to centralize purchases, and a review of the tech platforms of ministries and local administrations, the daily said.

Some ministers including interior and defense are opposing possible cuts to their departments, Corriere said.

Events for April 23. All times are local.

WHAT TO WATCH: -- Deputy Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli is set to speak before the Budget Committee of the Parliament’s Lower House on Italy’s economic outlook at 11 a.m. -- Bank of Italy’s representatives set to testify at Chamber of Deputies. -- Italy consumer confidence indicator 10 a.m.

CORPORATE EVENTS: -- STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM) will release first-quarter results after the close of trading in New York. ST-Ericsson, its wireless-chip joint venture with Ericsson AB, will provide a strategic update. -- Salini Costruttori SpA holds a press conference on “A leader in competence with scale to compete” at 2:30 p.m. Salini may have increased its stake in builder Impregilo SpA (IPG IM) to “slightly more” than 29 percent, matching the holding of Gavio Group, Il Sole 24 Ore reported. -- Saipem SpA (SPM IM), Sorin SpA (SRN IM) and Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso (ES IM) are set to report first-quarter results.

EQUITIES: -- Unipol Gruppo Finanziario SpA (UNI IM) may lower the swap ratio in a planned merger with Fondiaria-SAI SpA to control 60 percent to 65 percent of the company once the deal is completed, il Messaggero reported. Unipol previously proposed holding 66.7 percent of the new entity. As part of the new terms being discussed, Premafin Finanziaria SpA, Fondiaria’s controlling shareholder, may convert all of its debt into a convertible bond, Messaggero reported. -- A2A SpA (A2A IM) doesn’t need a capital increase as the company is financially and industrially “sound,” Giuseppe Sala, chairman of the utility’s management board, told la Repubblica. -- Benetton Group SpA (BEN IM). Chairman Luciano Benetton will be replaced in his role by his son Alessandro, according to an interview with Corriere della Sera. Luciano Benetton told the daily he will leave the positions he holds in the company on April 24. -- Brembo SpA (BRE IM) may see “significant” growth in first-quarter results, Il Sole 24 Ore cited Vice Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi as saying. Earnings in the first three months probably grew by double digits, Tiraboschi was reported as saying by Il Sole. -- Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G IM) sees eastern Europe as a strategic market with “good growth prospects,” Chairman Gabriele Galateri told daily La Stampa. The company is diversifying in countries including China, India and Brazil, Galateri said, according to the report.

MARKETS: -- Prime Minister Monti “hopes” that the International Monetary Fund’s increase in lending power will help markets regain confidence, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported. -- The benchmark FTSE MIB Index rose 0.8 percent to 14,401.78 -- The Italian 10-year bond yield spread between Italian bonds and German bunds widened 15.9 basis points to 395.5.

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