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BlackRock faces fine for not informing Consob

Staff writer |
Italian watchdog Consob may fine BlackRock for failing to infor the regulator that it had increased its stake in Telecom Italia, Consob's chairman Giuseppe Vegas said.

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At the end of November BlackRock lifted its holding to 10.1 percent from the 5.1 percent it held in October. BlackRock informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about its investment at the beginning of December but it did not tell Consob within a five-day deadline.

The regulator has asked BlackRock to make a stock exchange statement on what its stake in the Italian company is and whether it intends to be present at the next shareholders meeting on Friday, Consob's Giuseppe Vegas told daily Il Sole 24 Ore. BlackRock is required to answer before trading starts on Monday.

"Our immediate reaction is the sanction procedure, we can impose a fine of maximum 500,000 euros ($700,000)," Mr. Vegas said. Consob could also temporarily suspend BlackRock's voting rights on the stake not declared, Vegas said.

According to Mr. Vegas, BlackRock continued to buy shares in December. It is unclear by how much the U.S. investor had increased its stake from 10.1 percent, he said. Telecom Italia was also required to make a statement to the exchange on when it was informed by BlackRock about its investment by before the market opens on Monday, Mr. Vegas said.

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