stock rallying on expectations for Mef exit

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena returns to run on the stock market: the stock is today the best on the FTSE MIB with an increase of around 3% to 4.093 euros. The growth since the beginning of the year is important (+34%) and places the bank in the Top 10 of the best stocks in 2024. A performance that refers to the privatization projects of the Bank led by Luigi Lovaglio, which was nationalized in 2017 with a State share which reached 68% of the capital.

The privatization project

The MPS privatization project is part of the agreements made with the ECB for the rescue of the Bank, to which the BRRD directive on the management of banking crises was applied.

The reduction of state participation was started at the end of 2023, first with the offer of a 20% package and then with the placement of another 12.5%, which brought the MEF to 26.73% of MPS's capital. The latest operation, carried out a couple of weeks ago as part of the broader plan for the disposal of public shares in state-owned subsidiaries, sees MPS in the home stretch.

The Mef will sell a further share of the bank, to fall below 20%, but must wait ninety days from the last placement and therefore until the month of July.

The sunset of the third pole?

With a sensational step backwards by Unicredit, the “third hub” project in Italy seemed to be over, even if the market did not give up and, at fixed intervals, identified each other as partners for a possible aggregation. From BPER to Banca BPM: it's all blood for the speculation that is rewarding the share prices of the stock.

Not to mention that we are also thinking about the possibility of an insurance partner, such as Unipol, which would give the operation a more European standing.

The CEO of MPS Luigi Lovaglio has repeatedly reiterated that the “stand alone” solution is the main path, having completely restored the Sienese institute, bringing it back to profit (over 2 billion) and distributing a dividend (315 million).

Giorgetti convinced: 2024 is the “good” year

But the Minister of Economy Giancarlo Giorgetti does not give up and returns to hoping for the arrival of a partner. “The shoe is ready, I think 2024 should be the good year,” said the MEF owner, answering a question on the possibility of finding a partner this year.

And after having assimilated the Sienese bank to a “Cinderella” among banks, Giorgetti hopes for an interesting consideration for the sale of the remaining 26% stake.

The Bank itself, responding to a question from shareholders in view of the “closed door” meeting on Thursday 11 April, stated that the “right selling price” could be identified in the stock market price with the possible application of “a control premium”. However, management points out that there are various valuation methodologies, for example that of discounting future cash flows or the application of market multiples or multiples relating to previous transactions.