Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena posted a seventh straight loss on bad-loan provisions and reorganisation costs, as the bailed-out lender moved to clean up its balance sheet before ECB stress tests.
Monte Paschi had a fourth-quarter net loss of €920.7 million, down from a €1.6 billion loss a year earlier.
The stock rose as much as 4 per cent as investors concentrated on improving revenue and declining costs.
Chief executive Fabrizio Viola is preparing a share sale for May to help repay a €4.1 billion state rescue. He also plans to cut jobs and sell assets to return to profit by 2015. UniCredit, Italy's largest bank, surged in Milan trading yesterday as investors looked past a record €15 billion quarterly loss and bet a balance-sheet cleanup and 8,500 job cuts will increase profit. – ( Bloomberg )