Board of troubled Italian bank MPS meets in last-ditch bid to find capital
The board of troubled Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena is meeting as the bank searches for a way to repair a five billion-euro hole in its finances.
If MPS cannot raise additional capital from private investors in the coming days, it could need an Italian taxpayer-funded bailout.
The bank's troubles are one of the urgent tasks confronting the new Italian government to be headed by premier-designate Paolo Gentiloni - Italy's former foreign minister who was named on Sunday to lead the country.
A bailout could be politically explosive, because European Union rules could mean that bank bondholders must take losses as a condition of pouring in taxpayer money.
Many bondholders are small-time investors who may not have been fully aware of the risks. The government could look for a way to compensate them.