MPS, the Mef towards the sale of a further 10% in July. Unipol hypothesis

MPS, the Mef towards the sale of a further 10% in July. Unipol hypothesis
MPS, the Mef towards the sale of a further 10% in July. Unipol hypothesis

Yesterday, 17 June, the Banca Mps stock recorded a significant leap forward on Piazza Affari, closing with an increase of 1.22% and reaching 4.386 euros per share. This performance brought the bank’s market capitalization to 5.525 billion euros.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance could start the sale of a further 10% stake in MPS starting next July 2nd. This decision comes at the end of the three months announced during the last divestment, which took place in April, when 12.5% ​​of the bank’s shares were sold.

The end of the decline in prices

The rumors that interrupted a decline in prices, which began a month ago when the Monte dei Paschi stock had reached 5.364 euros with a capitalization of almost 6.5 billion euros, are linked to the intentions of the Ministry of Economy.

Currently, the value of the stock is not at historic highs, having reached 5.29 euros on May 17th. The value of the shares stands at a multiple of 60% of tangible assets. As recently highlighted by Deutsche Bank, all recent acquisitions have occurred right around this 60% level, a relevant indicator for investors.

The Affari e Finanza article highlighted the possible moves regarding the 26.7% of the bank’s capital still in state hands. The lock-up period, following the sale of 12.5% ​​of the shares in the spring, will end at the beginning of July.

Sales forecasts during the Palio di Siena

The rumors reported by Repubblica suggest that between July and August, during the days of the Palio di Siena, the Ministry could sell a further 10% of Monte dei Paschi. Luigi Lovaglio, CEO, in fact, has never been distracted by the Palio in his strategic plans and alliances.

The rumors of the last few hours do not present substantial news, but focus on an effective synthesis of all the possible scenarios, excluding the less probable ones. By applying the principle of Occam’s razor, which suggests preferring the simplest solution, the summer could bring the Treasury a further treasure of 550 million euros, in the case of a 10% sale at 4.45 euros per share.

Future prospects: an alliance with Bper and Unipol

This block of shares could end up in the funds’ portfolios, awaiting a possible agreement with Bper and Unipol. The alliance between Lovaglio and Carlo Cimbri, a leading figure in the insurance and banking group, is considered the most plausible and least controversial marriage. The hypothetical political objections regarding a ‘red hub’ of credit clash with Cimbri’s clear apolitical position, as Unipol has long since overcome the label of ‘red company’.

Among the preparations for this possible merger, the repurchase of bancassurance shares from Axa is included. Monte dei Paschi already has the billion euros needed to regain total control, thus consolidating its position in view of future strategic operations.

Bancassurance represents a key sector for the future of MPS, the fifth largest Italian bank. The current agreement with Axa, Europe’s second largest insurance group, will expire in three years. Although Generali was never involved, Unipol consequently emerges as the most likely candidate, being the parent company of the Bper banking group.

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