Italy clears hurdle to buy SACE in $4.8 bln deal

(Reuters, Rome, 25 January 2022) Italy approved a long-awaited decree needed for the Treasury to buy credit insurance agency SACE from state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) in a deal expected to be worth around 4.25 billion euros ($4.81 billion). The Treasury wants to directly control the export agency, given its growing importance in supporting the economy. Rome supports SACE by partly sharing its risk exposure, which could potentially hurt public finances over time. SACE's governance will be in the hands of the Treasury, dealing a blow to Di Maio whose Foreign Affairs Ministry, according to one of the sources, is set to lose control over strategic decisions regarding the export credit. The deal reverses the divestment made during the 2012 sovereign debt crisis by the technocrat government of Mario Monti, which sold SACE to the CDP for around 6 billion euros.