September 21, 2018 / 2:08 PM / in 8 months

Poste eyes bigger stake in payment services group SIA-sources

MILAN, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Poste Italiane is looking to increase its stake in payments services group SIA to nearly 50 percent to boost its presence in the fast-growing digital payments sector, two sources close to the matter said.

State lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) owns 34.5 percent of SIA through investment vehicle FSIA Investimenti.

Poste, which already owns 15 percent of SIA, would like to buy CDP’s stake, both sources said.

Financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Friday the Italian post office had hired JPMorgan to advise on a potential deal.

The government, which is the majority owner of CDP, would have to agree to the sale of the payment services group.

JPMorgan declined to comment on the issue while CDP was not immediately available to comment.

State-controlled Poste Italiane, a conglomerate deriving the bulk of its revenue from its insurance business, recently created a unit specialising in mobile and digital payments, a hot area in financial services.

SIA’s sales rose 21 percent to 567 million euros last year with core profit growing 44 percent to 180 million euros.($1 = 0.8488 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini and Paola Arosio;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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