MILAN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Ailing Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena has been unable to find an anchor investor willing to put money in its privately funded rescue plan, less than 24 hours before the offer ends, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.
The bank needs to raise 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) by the end of this month to avert being wound down. The Italian government is expected to step in this week to bail it out.
The Tuscan lender, Italy's third biggest bank and the world's oldest, had pinned its hopes on Qatar's sovereign wealth fund investing 1 billion euros in its cash call, but that option is no longer on the table, the sources said.
As a result, the bank entire share sale, which closes at 2 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Thursday, has drawn very little interest from the wider investment community, they added.
The bank declined to comment. ($1 = 0.9573 euros) (Reporting by Paola Arosio and Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Mark Bendeich)