May 22, 2015 / 5:33 AM / 3 years ago

Monte Paschi signs underwriting agreement with banks for cash call

MILAN (Reuters) - Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) said on Friday it had signed an underwriting agreement with a pool of banks to subscribe to the lender’s planned 3-billion-euro rights issue.

The entrance of Monte dei Paschi bank headquaters is pictured in downtown Siena, August 16, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

On Thursday the Italian bank priced the cash call at a big discount as it seeks to plug a capital shortfall unveiled by a Europe-wide health check of the sector.

The banks agreed to guarantee, severally but not jointly, the subscription of any shares not taken up in the issue after the offer of any unexercised rights, Monte Paschi said.

AXA Group (AXAF.PA) and AXA Mutuelles have agreed to take up new shares in line with the stakes they currently in the bank, Monte Paschi said.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes

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