Italy to start privatisations by yr-end, Eni top priority-sources

Reuters

MILAN, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The Italian government aims by theend of the year to begin selling state-owned assets as part of aprivatisation campaign, with oil and gas major Eni topof the list, two sources told Reuters.

"We want to start soon. We want to sell some of the assetsby the end of the year to show we are doing something," onesource with direct knowledge of the dossier told Reuters.

"The sale of the Treasury's stake in Eni... could be doneovernight, subject to markets conditions," the source said.

The government is working on a list of stakes it coulddispose without losing direct or indirect control over thecompanies involved. Some of these stakes could be put on theblock in a very short time, while others will take longer.

Italy's Treasury holds a 4.3 percent stake in Eni, accordingto the company's website. The stake has a value of roughly 2.8billion euros ($3.9 billion) at current market prices.

The sale of this stake would be an easy way for thegovernment to pocket money to cut Italy's public debt hoveringstubbornly around 133 percent of gross domestic product.

The government is not planning to reduce its shareholdingsin either Enel and Finmeccanica any timesoon, the source said.

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