MPS Chairman says aims to keep bank independent

SIENA, Italy, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The chairman of Italy'sthird biggest lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena ,said on Tuesday he aimed to keep the bank "totally andabsolutely" independent.

Alessandro Profumo, former CEO of UniCredit , tolda shareholder meeting he did not know which new investors wouldbuy into a capital increase of up to 1 billion euros, which MPSplans to launch by 2015.

He said however that the ideal investor for the bank wouldnot come from the financial industry, "because we do not want tosell the bank."

"Our objective is to maintain the autonomy of MPS, and keephte bank based in Siena," Profumo said.

(Reporting By Silvia Aloisi)

((silvia.aloisi@thomsonreuters.com)(+39 02 6612 9723))