MILAN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - China’s central bank is continuing to invest in Italian companies, its governor was quoted as saying in a leading Italian daily on Thursday, after People’s Bank of China built holdings in several Italian blue-chips over the past year.
“We continue to buy stakes in Italian companies, but now we’re careful to remain below the 2 percent threshold so that we’re not obliged to disclose them,” Zhou Xiachuan told Corriere della Sera daily in Davos.
Regulatory filings with market watchdog Consob have revealed that China’s central bank holds stakes of around 2 percent in Italy’s biggest utility Enel, power grid Terna , merchant bank Mediobanca, oil services firm Saipem and telecoms group Telecom Italia.
It has also bought stakes of a little more than 2 percent in oil major Eni, insurer Generali and carmaker Fiat Chrysler.
Italian rules oblige investors to disclose investments of more than 2 percent in a listed company.
Zhou said the central bank’s overall investments in Italian assets were worth around 100 billion euros ($116 billion), including government bonds.
$1 = 0.8635 euros Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Mark Potter