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Paschi Foundation Votes to Abolish Cap to Attract New Capital

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA’s biggest investor, the foundation that has controlled the Italian bank for 18 years, agreed to remove a cap that limits other owners’ voting rights as the lender seeks to raise funds.

Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which owns about 34 percent of Paschi, said it will back the Siena, Italy-based bank’s proposal to abolish the 4 percent cap to voting rights at an extraordinary shareholders meeting on July 18, according to a stock-exchange statement.

Paschi Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Viola and Chairman Alessandro Profumo, who were appointed last year to turn the company around, are seeking to attract new investors in a 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) stock sale to help repay state aid. The pair must also return the bank to profit this year under a rescue plan to avoid handing over a stake to the government.

Fondazione Monte Paschi was created on Aug. 28, 1995. Nonprofit foundations were entrusted with Italy’s state-owned lenders as the banks were removed from direct government ownership. They reduced their stakes over time.

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