MILAN, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena has given a mandate to Rothschild to sell the leasing activities it put on the block in its last business plan, two sources close to the situation said on Wednesday.
The bank declined to comment.
The sale is part of an asset disposal plan that also includes the sale of a stake in regional bank Biverbanca and consumer credit unit Consum.it.
Monte Paschi, the country's third-biggest lender, was forced to request state aid in June to plug a capital shortfall and meet tougher European requirements.
The leasing business accounts for 70 percent of MPS Leasing & Factoring and had loans of around 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion)in 2011.
Mediobanca said in a note the Leasing & Factoring division had a book value of around 320 million euros, adding the sale of the whole unit could raise Core Tier 1 capital by about 50 basis points.
According to a media report, General Electric, BNP Paribas and some private equity firms could be interested in the leasing business.