LSE supported Italy banks' decision to sell stake
MILAN (Reuters) - The two Italian banks that this week sold a combined 11.5 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) did so to cut debt, the LSE CEO said adding ties with Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) and UniCredit (CRDI.MI) would continue to be close.
Speaking at a financial conference in Milan on Thursday, Chief Executive Xavier Rolet also said the large size of the public debt accumulated in Europe in recent decades was crowding out equities, and hurting small and medium-sized companies especially at the start-up level.
"(Intesa and UniCredit) have made very clear that this (disposal) was linked to their plan to deleverage. They will continue to have a very close relationship with us, they are two very important customers and partners," Rolet said answering a question on the sale by two former top shareholders of the exchange.
"Given the pressure to monetise they have decided to take profit. ... This has been done of course with our full support," he added.
(Reporting by Valentina Za and Francesca Landini)
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