(supersedes previous)Milan, October 18 - Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank soared 12% in trading Tuesday on rumors of redundancies and a return to the so-called "Passera plan". Share prices jumped 12.8% to close at 0.1954 euros a share in what is the troubled lender's first rise since August. The MPS board met today for eight hours, while former Intesa Sanpaolo bank head and ex-industry minister Corrado Passera went to Consob stock market regulator to illustrate his offer on MPS, that would be an alternative to the Tuscan lender's current, European Central Bank-approved turnaround plan involving a five-billion-euro capital increase and the securitization of 10 billion euros' worth of non-performing loans (NPLs) with help from Italy's private Atlante fund. "If it goes as it should, (the MPS rescue plan) could be a beautiful project and it would make Italy look really good," Passera said on his way out of his Consob meeting, which lasted half an hour. "That's what I find stimulating," he added, saying he has a "duty" to keep his plan confidential until the board makes a decision.
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