Italy central bank approves Monte Paschi bailout request

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January 27, 2013 7:35 AM EST

Italy's central bank on Saturday gave its approval to a request by scandal hit bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena for 3.9 billion euros (3.4 billion pounds) of state loans.

After a meeting that lasted most of Saturday, the Bank of Italy (BOI) issued a brief statement to say its board had given "a favourable opinion" on the bailout. It gave no further details.

The BOI's backing is the final step required to free up the financial help for Italy's third biggest lender, which this week revealed loss-making derivatives trades that could cost it about 720 million euros.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones, editing by Danilo Masoni)

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