Italy does not plan to oppose foreign takeovers of domestic companies, its economy minister told Reuters on Saturday as large players such as Telecom Italia and AnsaldoEnergia are at the center of merger talks.

Defense group Finmeccanica is in advanced talks to sell its power engineering unit AnsaldoEnergia to South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries <034020.KS> while Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris has expressed an interest for Italy's telecoms incumbent ahead of a key September 19 board meeting.

"We don't have any strategy to prevent such investments," he said in a television interview, stressing that the government welcomed foreign investors.

"We don't necessarily have a role to play in single negotiations and I think it should be up to the companies involved to decide on the terms and conditions for foreign takeovers or something like that."

(Reporting By Lisa Jucca; Editing by Valentina Za)