Italian economy minister wants asset sales done quickly

Reuters

ROME, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Italy should begin to sellstate-owned assets, which will include both real estate andcompanies, as soon as possible, Economy Minister FabrizioSaccomanni said on Thursday.

The privatisation plan will include "both listed andunlisted companies" as well as buildings, Saccomanni told theforeign press in Rome, adding that the sales should go ahead"the sooner the better".

Italy is aiming to sell assets to help bring down itsgigantic debt. Saccomanni gave no details about which companiesmay be involved in the asset sales.

He also said that Italy's banks had nothing to fear from anupcoming round of stress tests, which will be conducted all overEurope, aimed at measuring the strength of the lenders' capital.

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