Italy picks Bank of America and Orrick to advise on MPS privatization, sources say By

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© . FILE PHOTO: A logo of Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank is seen on the ground in downtown Siena

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By Giuseppe Fonte, Pamela Barbaglia and Valentina Za

ROME/LONDON/MILAN () – Italy has picked Bank of America (NYSE:) and Orrick as financial and legal advisers to help the Treasury secure a merger deal for bailed-out bank Monte dei Paschi as part of its privatization plan, three sources close to the matter told .

Rome aims to clinch a merger with a healthier peer in 2021, the sources said, to secure a long-term solution for the bank, which is dogged by legal risks and poor quality assets.

Monte dei Paschi (MPS) has said its capital buffers are set to fall below minimum requirements early next year, hit by the cost of a bad loan clean-up it is about to complete as well as provisions against legal risks following the conviction of former top executives.

Italy’s Treasury and Orrick were not immediately available for comment, while Bank of America declined to comment.

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