Italy central bank: Montepaschi hid transactions

Italian central bank says Monte dei Paschi former management hid damaging transactions

Associated Press

MILAN (AP) -- The Bank of Italy says former managers of bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena hid complex financial transactions that reportedly will cost it €200 million ($293 million) in 2012 profits.

Shares in the world's oldest running bank tumbled another 7 percent, to €0.23, on Thursday as the scandal at the bank got caught up in the campaigns for February's elections.

The Bank of Italy said in a statement that derivative purchases reported by the media were disclosed to it "only recently after hidden documents were found" by the bank's new management. The central bank said both its oversight division and judicial authorities were reviewing the transactions.

Italian Economic Minister Vittorio Grilli said, meanwhile, that the government had been aware of problems at the bank for at least a year.

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