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Monte dei Paschi unions say 4,125 staff ready to exit

FILE PHOTO: Italy's problem bank casts a long shadow over Draghi's summer break

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) -Unions at Monte dei Paschi di Siena on Tuesday said 4,125 employees of the state-owned bank had come forward to take up an early exit scheme.

Monte dei Paschi (MPS) aims to launch a new share issue later this month for up to 2.5 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to fund the staff exits and lower its cost base from next year.

The unions said in a note that 4,015 requests related to an early retirement option which will see staff receive 80% of their salary for up to seven years before they reach the pension age. [nL8N2ZG3GZ]

MPS will take a few days to examine the requests following a meeting with unions on Tuesday, the note said.

Stormy markets pose a challenge to MPS' latest capital raising - its seventh in 14 years - with the banks managing the sale wary of the risk of unsold shares. ($1 = 1.0111 euros)

(Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, writing by Valentina Za; editing by Federico Maccioni and Louise Heavens)