Italy’s far-right government is planning to put forward a draft bill including the proposal to set up a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) to finance companies in the country’s strategic sectors.
The draft bill, called ‘Made In Italy’ – in reference to companies specialising in manufacturing traditional Italian products – will be tabled by the minister of enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso in an upcoming government meeting, IPE understands.
The government intends to support strategic sectors and supply chains through a SWF that will channel public and private financial interventions, Urso said.
According to reports, the new fund will receive between €500m and €1bn in capital, possibly also from first pillar Casse di Previdenza and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the partly state-owned investment bank.
The draft bill, already mentioned in the budget law for 2023, will have a fast track in parliament, industry officials said.
The government is pondering the role of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) in the project as an investor that could only hold minority stakes in companies, reports added.
Minister of Economy and Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti underlined the role of the state as a shareholder overseeing strategic important sectors, supporting the growth of companies, as in the case of CDP.
Carlo Bonomi, president of Confindustria, the main association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy, said in an interview that the plan announced by minister Urso lacks details, but it is “perfectly fine” if it is intended to support companies in strategic sectors and supply chains.
Innocenzo Cipolletta, former president of Fondo Italiano D´Investimento, a public-private partnership for private equity investments, said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper that the SWF should operate as a fund of funds.
If, instead, the fund is used as a direct investment tool in companies by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, it would be influenced by political interests, which would constitute a profound distortion of the relationship between the state and the market, he added.