Italy prepares to bail out world’s oldest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena

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Hugo Duncan for the Daily Mail

Troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena looks set to be rescued by the Italian government as hopes of private investment evaporate.

The basket-case bank – which was founded in 1472 and is the oldest in the world – needs £4.2bn to save it from collapse as it buckles under the strain of £25.5bn of toxic debt.

But it is understood that investors who had been lined up to provide a lifeline – including Qatar’s cash-rich sovereign wealth fund – have got cold feet following the resignation of prime minister Matteo Renzi in the wake of the weekend’s crushing referendum defeat.

The Italian government is now preparing a state bailout for Monte dei Paschi to prevent the lender failing and triggering a full-blown banking…

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