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Italy's Treasury sees AXA stake sale as way to simplify MPS governance - source

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's Treasury does not regard negatively a decision by French insurer AXA to sell its 8% stake in Monte dei Paschi because it boosts free float and simplifies the state-owned bank's governance structure, a person close to the matter said.

The Treasury owns 64% of Monte dei Paschi following a 2017 bailout and must eventually exit the Tuscan lender.

AXA on Monday sold virtually all of the stake it had acquired late last year when it bought into a 2.5 billion euro rights issue at Monte dei Paschi, becoming its second biggest investor after the government. A source told Reuters on Monday the stake was bought by several institutional investors.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; editing by Valentina Za)