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Monte Paschi top investor committed to bank relaunch, where possible

People are reflected in the window of a Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena bank in Rome January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi
People are reflected in the window of a Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena bank in Rome January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

MILAN (Reuters) - The main shareholder of Italy's No. 3 lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena said on Wednesday it remained committed to supporting the relaunch of the bank "where possible".

In a statement the foundation shareholder said it "acknowledged" the board's decision to propose a rights issue of up to 3 billion euros ($4 billion), but did not disclose its final position on the issue.

Monte Paschi has been at loggerheads with the foundation which is also trying to sell down its stake to pay back 350 million euros of debt and which was hoping to delay the cash call.

"The foundation remains determined to safeguard itself... (and) confirms its commitment to support the bank, where possible, in its relaunch plan... without renouncing its role as historic shareholder," it said.

The foundation said it welcomed the go ahead to the Monte Paschi restructuring plan given on Wednesday by the European Commission which confirmed the timeframe for carrying out the cash call. The Commission has previously spoken about executing it before the end of 2014.

The bank's management and advisors are keen to press ahead with the recapitalization sooner.

($1 = 0.7367 euros)

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Danilo Masoni)

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