The shareholder foundation which controls Monte dei Paschi di Siena is considering selling part of its nearly 35 percent stake in the troubled bank, according to a strategy document covering the 2013-15 period seen by Reuters on Monday.
The document said the foundation would consider lowering its stake to below a 33.5 percent threshold that under Italian law gives it veto power over extraordinary operations such as mergers and acquisitions.
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The sale of part of the foundation's stake may have to be considered "to ensure the survival of the foundation and its economic and financial balance," the document said.
Monte dei Paschi, the world's oldest bank and Italy's third-largest, has run into deep trouble since its 9-billion-euro ($12.11 billion) cash purchase of rival Banca Antonveneta in 2007, just before the global financial crash.
(Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, Writing by James MacKenzie, Editing by Lisa Jucca)