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Is It Calm or Complacency in Italian Markets?

11/02/2019 10:59am

Dow Jones News


Unicredito Spa (PC) (USOTC:UNCFF)
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By Alex Frangos and James Willhite

 

Markets early Monday gave a big shrug to news over the weekend that Italy's top officials were taking aim at the country's central bank, which plays a big role in keeping Italy's financial system safe.

Italian government bond yields were in line with where they traded Friday, with the 10-year government bond yielding around 2.9%. Italian bank stocks traded slightly higher, with Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit both up slightly.

 

The news from The Wall Street Journal's Giovanni Legorano over the weekend:

 

ROME-Italy's populist government launched an unprecedented attack on the country's central bank over the weekend, saying its top brass should be replaced because it had failed to supervise effectively the country's troubled banking sector.

However, investors may think the attack lacks teeth. As the story notes:

Under the Bank of Italy's rules, the central bank chooses its own top appointees, though the government must endorse the bank's nominee. Final approval rests with President Sergio Mattarella--a respected figure in Italy's establishment and another bete noire of the League and 5 Star Movement.

But markets also have a history of ignoring Italy's politics until they don't.

 

Write to Alex Frangos and James Willhite at alex.frangos@wsj.com and james.willhite@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 11, 2019 05:44 ET (10:44 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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