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Italy's state-controlled companies ready to invest 15 bln euros more in next 5 years-PM

ROME, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Italy's state-controlled companies are ready to invest a further 15 billion euros ($17 billion) in the next 5 years if government reforms are implemented, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday.

Conte was speaking after meeting a dozen top managers, including oil major Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and power group Enel CEO Francesco Starace.

Besides the two energy giants, other state-controlled groups present were state-lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, gas transport group Snam, power grid operator Terna , defense group Leonardo, the Post Office and shipbuilder Fincantieri.

Conte said that the additional investment could reach 20 billion euros if all measures taken to cut red tape were carried through.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said state-controlled companies were also ready to hire tens of thousands of people after proposals to lower the retirement age came into effect. ($1 = 0.8672 euros) (Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, editing by Stephen Jewkes)