(Bloomberg) -- Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA could form the country’s third-biggest bank through a merger with a peer, Italian Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said.

“Monte Paschi can become the core from which to build a strong banking group,” Giorgetti told reporters during a press conference in Rome on Wednesday. “We don’t need to cash in right away,” he added referring to a possible sale of the bank.

Such a plan would be a landmark deal for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government in the corporate sector. Yet it could prove difficult to do since Rome doesn’t own stakes in Banco BPM or BPER Banca and has no formal power to force them into a takeover.

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