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Monte Paschi may need to raise up to 5 billion euros in cap hike: ANSA

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[April 15, 2014]  MILAN (Reuters)  Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena <BMPS.MI> may need to raise up to 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) through an upcoming capital hike, rather than the 3 billion euros originally planned, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.

The bank is due to launch a rights issue at the end of May to help pay back a 4.1 billion euro state bailout received after it was hit hard by the euro zone debt crisis and a scandal over loss-making derivatives deals.

An increase in the amount to be raised would need approval first from Monte Paschi's consortium of underwriting banks, then the board of directors and finally an extraordinary meeting of shareholders, which would probably mean the transaction would be pushed forward, perhaps to June, ANSA said.

The capital increase was part of a restructuring demanded by European Union regulators in order to approve the state aid.

It was not possible to reach Monte dei Paschi for comment.

UBS, the leading bank on the consortium guaranteeing the capital increase, declined to comment.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie)

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