UPDATE 1-Italy Treasury rules out Enel share sale to China

Thu Feb 4, 2010 1:15pm GMT

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ROME Feb 4 (Reuters) - Italy's Treasury has not received an expression of interest in its stake in utility Enel SpA (ENEI.MI) from Chinese sovereign wealth fund CIC and has no intention of selling its holding, a Treasury source said on Thursday.

Newspapers in China and Italy have reported in recent days CIC could be interested in a stake in Enel and its Enel Green Power subsidiary and executives from the Chinese fund have held meetings in Italy this week.

Italy's Treasury holds a direct 14 percent stake in Enel.

"The Treasury has not received any indication of interest in Enel from the Chinese sovereign wealth fund," said the source.

"In any case, the Treasury has no intention of selling Enel shares, which ... are quoted on the stock market and are therefore tradeable."

The CEO of the Italian power company, Fulvio Conti, said on Wednesday he had met with representatives of CIC but declined to comment on possible talks over Enel Green Power.

The CIC representatives also held meetings with the state savings and loan institution CDP, which holds a 17 percent stake in Enel. A source at the CDP, who confirmed the meeting, said there was no discussion of its stake in ENEL.

Shares in Enel, which is due to report preliminary 2009 results on Thursday, have risen in recent days on speculation of the Chinese interest. (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei; Editing by David Holmes)

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