March 23, 2019 / 4:36 PM / a month ago

Italy signs deals worth 2.5 billion euros with China

(Reuters) - Italy signed a preliminary accord with China on Saturday that makes it the first country of the Group of Seven industrialised nation to join the Chinese Belt and Road infrastructure project.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after signing trade agreements at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy March 23, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Around 30 parallel deals were signed on the sidelines of the visit to Rome by Chinese President Xi Jinping, including 10 with Italian companies and others with ministries and public bodies.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said the deals were worth an initial 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) but had a potential value of 20 billion.

Here are details of some of the accords.

CDP, BANK OF CHINA

Italy’s state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) signed an agreement with Bank of China to let it sell “Panda” bonds - debt sold by foreign entities to investors in mainland China.

CDP said it will issue bonds worth 5 billion renminbi ($744.5 million). CDP and Bank of China will also co-finance Italian companies for 4 billion renminbi. A CDP official told Reuters on Friday that the first tranche of Panda bonds will be issued in the coming weeks.

CDP, SNAM

CDP and Italian gas company Snam have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Silk Road fund (SRF) for cooperation on international investments in China and in the about 120 countries that have already signed up for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Snam and SRF said they will consider possible cooperation in the natural gas sector — pipelines, storage facilities, LNG infrastructure and biomethane plants.

DANIELI

Italian metals company Danieli has signed a deal to build part of a steel plant in China that will then be transferred to Azerbaijan.

TRIESTE AND GENOA PORTS China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has signed two cooperation agreements with the authorities of Trieste’s port and with the commissioner supervising the reconstruction of the bridge of Genoa that collapsed last year.

ANSALDO ENERGIA

Ansaldo Energia said it signed a deal with China United Gas Turbine Company (UGTC) for technology cooperation in the field of heavy duty gas turbines.

Ansaldo Energia has also been awarded a contract worth approximately 25 million euros to supply a AE94.2K gas turbine and syngas compressor train for Bengang combined cycle power plant, located in Benxi in the northeast China.

SUNING

China’s e-commerce group Suning, top shareholder of Italian Serie A soccer team Inter Milan, announced a deal with the Italian Trade Agency to boost Made-in-Italy exports to China.

INTESA SANPAOLO

Intesa Sanpaolo has signed a MoU with the Chinese city of Qingdao to develop wealth management services for local clients through a wholly-owned company called Yi Tsai. Intesa aimed to sell its own financial products in Qingdao in the near future, Intesa CEO Carlo Messina said.

ENI

Italian energy giant Eni has signed a MoU with Bank of China to secure a credit line.

FERROVIE DELLO STATO, AEROPORTI DI ROMA

Italy’s railways group Ferrovie dello Stato, Atlantia’s airport operator Aeroporti di Roma and the museums of sports car maker Ferrari have signed a commercial deal with China’s biggest online travel agency Ctrip to develop Chinese tourism in Italy.

(This story refiles to fix spelling error for the Chinese city of Qingdao for item on Intesa Sanpaolo)

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni and Francesca Landini; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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