Monte Paschi chief says no evidence of bribe in Antonveneta deal

Banca Monte Paschi di Siena CEO Fabrizio Viola said on Monday he had found no evidence of a bribe linked to the 9-billion-euro cash purchase of peer Antonveneta in 2007 despite media reports that prosecutors are investigating this possibility.

Viola, who is trying to clean up the bank's balance sheet after discovering undisclosed derivatives done under previous management, said Monte Paschi will not need additional government support despite losses stemming from the bank's derivative portfolio.

The Italian state will give Italy's No.3 bank 3.9 billion euros ($5.26 billion) of aid in the form of special bonds. Monte Paschi is to conclude its review of the three derivative deals under scrutiny by mid-February, Viola also said.

(Reporting By Silvia Aloisi and Lisa Jucca)