NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena released a restructuring plan on Tuesday in which the struggling bank is seeking a $5.4 billion capital increase (5 billion euro) by the end of the year. Monte Paschi will also cut 2,600 jobs by 2019, close 500 branches and get rid of 28 billion euros of bad loans.
Company chief executive Marco Morelli has also promised to begin talks with potential new investors for Italy's third largest bank.
BloombergTV hosted its bureau chief in Milan Dan Liefgreen on "Bloomberg Markets: Americas" this morning. Liefgreen discussed Monte Paschi's restructuring plan and began by answering Vonnie Quinn's question as to who these new investors might be.
"Mr. Morelli didn't disclose the names of these potential investors. He said that he was planning on starting talks with these institutions," Liefgreen said. "The Italian press has speculated for a couple of weeks they could be sovereign wealth funds based in the Middle East, in China perhaps. But he did not name names today."
Quinn asked about the possibility of Italian investors, but at the moment it doesn't appear that there are any interested parties. The Italian banks don't seem to want to get involved with M&A right now. Liefgreen believes the best bet for Monte Paschi would be funds from outside of Italy.
"What you need to remember though is that there's a huge execution risk surrounding this whole plan. This 5 billion euros Morelli is trying to raise it has three legs to it, one of which is finding these so-called anchor investors. The other is doing this debt for equity swap and then potentially having to deal with cleaning up the balance sheet, getting rid of 28 billion euros of non performing loans," Liefgreen said.
If just one part of the plan doesn't work out the entire idea will fall apart. CEO Morelli has a lot of work to do if he wants to get this done by the end of 2016 as he has stated, Liefgreen said.