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This state-controlled investment company resembles a sovereign wealth fund. It's 80% owned by the Treasury – banking foundations own most of the rest - and has assets of €350.2 billion. http://www.cdp.it/en/index.htm

Most of its funding comes from the postal savings of ordinary Italians. CDP (Cassa depositi e prestiti) finances investments in the public sector, offering loans to local administrations and backing infrastructure projects that support the country's economy. It has also set up specialized funds that operate as private equity players, providing growth capital to growing companies and buying stakes in sectors deemed to be of national interest, such as energy. It holds stakes in power utility Enel, power grid operator Terna and Snam, and Fintecna. CDP has cousins such as France's Caisse des Depots and Germany's KfW. It is often touted in the Italian press as a white knight, but its management has largely avoided doing deals to please political patrons or interests. That said, its large balance sheet and its new expertise in setting up specialized funds mean it may end up as a buyer of some of the assets the government intends to privatize. President is Claudio Costamagna, CEO Fabio Gallia.

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