MILAN, April 15 (Reuters) - Foreign investors markedly increased their holdings of Italian government bonds in January, data showed, reflecting in part the strong take-up for a new 10-billion euro, 15-year bond the Rome Treasury sold at the start of the year.
International investors have been reducing their exposure to Italy since an anti-establishment coalition took power before the summer, clashing with the European Commission over budget plans.
Foreign holdings of Italian bonds stood at 702.81 billion euros ($795.23 billion) in January, a three-month high, up from a revised 681.89 billion euros for December, Bank of Italy’s data showed on Monday.
Based on Reuters calculations, foreigners held 35.1 percent of all Italian government bonds in January. The figure includes part of the purchases carried out by the European Central Bank under its bond-buying programme as well as Italian residents’ foreign holdings, which account for around 9-10 percent of the total.
The Bank of Italy’s monthly report also showed Italy’s debt stood at 2,364 billion euros in February, little changed from the revised previous month’s figure.($1 = 0.8838 euros) (Reporting by Alessia Pe, editing by Valentina Za)