Client guide to Italy

Author: | Published: 24 May 2005
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New legislation in Italy, some in response to the recent Parmalat scandal, aims to strengthen the country's capital markets and improve investor confidence. Corporate governance reforms that took effect at the beginning of this year fill a gap in legislation that until now ignored the issue of holding companies' liability. Changes to the country's tax regime that came into force at the same time make Italy more competitive with other centres in Europe. Expected changes to the law to allow the issuance of covered bonds could lead to the growth of a substantial market in these securities. Meanwhile, Article 129 of the Italian Single Banking Act continues to be a source of controversy, allowing the Bank of Italy to block the sale of unsuitable securities to Italian investors - a task it has apparently approached more vigorously in recent months. Articles in the following pages examine these and other legislative changes and how they will affect banks, investors and issuers.