European shares closed mixed on Friday, with Italian banking stocks and the health care sector weighing on wider benchmarks.» Read More
Twenty percent of Italian companies are set to fail, Intesa Sanpaolo Chief Executive Enrico Cucchiani, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Regardless of who wins next weekend's parliamentary election, Italy's long economic decline is likely to continue because the next government won't be strong enough to pursue the tough reforms needed to make its economy competitive again.
Monte dei Paschi pumped up its bid for Antonveneta to trump a rival offer from France's BNP Paribas, paving the way for an eventual state bailout of the world's oldest bank.
The Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena and the Dutch lender SNS Reaal have one thing in common with the UK's Royal Bank of Scotland and Belgium's Fortis. They all bought a part of the Dutch bank ABN AMRO in 2007 and suffered from the capital strain and losses caused by that acquisition.
European shares closed lower after choppy trading on Thursday, tracking falls on the U.S. equity markets.
Economic activity in the euro area will remain weak in early 2013 before gradually recovering later in the year, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.
Board members at Monte dei Paschi are expected to say that Italy's third largest bank may have lost up to 1 billion euros on trades, higher than the initial estimate.
European shares suffered steep falls on Monday as mounting political uncertainty in the peripheral euro zone prompted investors to lock in profits on indexes trading close to multi-year highs.
The secret document at the heart of the Monte dei Paschi banking scandal lay for months in a concealed safe in a 14th century Tuscan palace. Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola said he learnt about the safe's contents only last October, a full 10 months after he had been called in to sort out Italy's third biggest bank.
Italy's technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti, is likely to lead the country again after the national election in February, Coutts Chief Investment Officer Norman Villamin told CNBC.
Monte dei Paschi di Siena said on Sunday it was seeking a financial investor as the political storm over a derivatives scandal at the ailing bank intensified ahead of next month's Italian election.
Weak GDP data for the U.K. wasn't enough to stop European shares rising on Friday as Germany's DAX Index reached a level not seen since January 2008 after business climate data was released.
Italy Central Bank Governor Ignazio Visco has told CNBC that there is no question about the stability of Italy's Monte dei Paschi bank after it suffered a $1 billion loss on derivatives trades.
European shares inched higher on Wednesday, with a key index moving back towards a near two-year high hit recently.
Shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy's third-biggest lender, fell more than 5 percent for the second day in a row on Wednesday on worries of mounting losses on some financial derivative positions which it took in 2008 and 2009.
Technology stocks fell to push European shares lower and send Germany's benchmark DAX index to a 2013 low on Tuesday.
European shares finished in negative territory Monday, but financials helped limit losses after global banking regulators announced a watering down of key elements of their plan for banking rules.
European shares closed lower on Friday as U.S. politicians continued to wrangle over averting the "fiscal cliff" — a series of tax increases and spending cuts that are set to kick in at the start of next year and could threaten the U.S. economy.
The terms of a state bailout scheme for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy's third biggest lender, could pose more challenges to the bank's performance, the European Central Bank said.
European shares closed higher on Tuesday after a survey showed a sharp improvement in German investor and analyst sentiment.