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Banking   Pier Carlo Padoan for Il Sole 24 Ore

Italy: It would be kind to have more info from ECB about Monte Paschi

Pier Carlo PadoanItaly's economy minister has said the European Central Bank should have explained more clearly why it nearly doubled its estimate of the capital shortfall for Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

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Pier Carlo Padoan told a newspaper that the ECB's new capital target was the result of a "very rigid stance" in its assessment of the bank's risk profile.

"It would have been useful, if not kind, to have a bit more information from the ECB about the criteria that led to this assessment," Padoan told the financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Monte dei Paschi, Italy's third biggest lender and the world's oldest, said on Monday the ECB had estimated its capital shortfall at 8.8 billion euros ($9.20 billion), compared with a 5 billion-euro gap previously indicated by the bank.

The higher capital requirement substantially increases the cost of the bank's rescue by the government after it failed to raise the 5 billion euros on the market.

The Bank of Italy said in a statement later on Thursday that based on its own calculations the Treasury may have to put up around 6.6 billion euros to salvage the lender, including 2 billion euros to compensate around 40,000 retail bond holders.

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