* ECB rejects Monte dei Paschi's request for delay - source
* Bank had asked for more time to pull off 5-bln euro rescue
* Pressure mounts on Rome to recapitalise Monte Paschi
(Recasts after ECB rejects bank's request for more time)
MILAN, Dec 9 The European Central Bank has
rejected a request by ailing Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di
Siena for more time to raise capital, a source said on
Friday, in a move that piles pressure on the Italian government
to bail out the bank.
The country's third-largest lender, and the world's oldest,
had asked for a three-week extension until January 20 to try to
wrap up a privately funded, 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion)
rescue plan in the face of fresh political uncertainty.
The ECB's supervisory board turned down the request at a
meeting on Friday on the grounds that a delay would be of little
use and that it was time for Rome to step in, the source said.
The Italian government is expected to intervene to
recapitalise the bank to avert the risk of it being wound down.
The failure of Monte dei Paschi could threaten the savings of
thousands of retail investors, ripple across the wider banking
sector and provoke a financial crisis in the euro zone's
Italy faces the risk of early elections, and the prospect of
an anti-euro party coming to power, after Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi quit this week following the heavy defeat of his plan to
reform the constitution in a weekend referendum.
($1 = 0.9291 euros)
(Reporting by Reuters bureaus; Writing by Silvia Aloisi;
Editing by Pravin Char)