Shares in troubled Italian bank plunge amid bailout fears

Shares in troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena have plunged after news reports that the bank's request for more time to raise new capital from investors has been rejected by regulators.

Shares in MPS, as it is known, were down 14.1 percent on Friday to 18.73 euros and were temporarily suspended.

The bank had been given until the end of the month to raise 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in capital. The bank asked the European Central Bank for a delay until Jan. 20 due to political uncertainty ushered in by the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi this week.

Failure to obtain private capital would raise the possibility that the Italian government would have to bail out MPS. The bank and the ECB had no immediate comment.