Monte Paschi committed to avoid state becoming majority shareholder: CEO

Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is committed to avoiding the state becoming a majority shareholder in the bank, chief executive Fabrizio Viola said on Friday.

"One thing is having the state as minority shareholder another is imagining the majority becomes public: this latter is a scenario certainly possible but the bank is committed to avoid it," Fabrizio Viola said in an interview in Il Sole 24 Ore.

The bank was forced to seek state aid last year for the second time since 2009 after becoming one of just four European lenders that failed to meet tougher capital requirements set by regulators.

Viola said conditions would be right in 2014 for a planned capital increase of 1 billion euros.

He also said the bank was considering selling other assets than those it was already planning to sell.

(Reporting By Stephen Jewkes)