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Italy reserves right to use special powers to protect Milan bourse: document

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government considers the Milan stock exchange a strategic asset and reserves the right to intervene with special powers if appropriate to protect its interests, according to a draft emergency decree seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The decree, expected to be approved on Thursday, puts into effect measures originally drafted in 2012 giving Rome so-called golden powers over key financial infrastructure.

It will force non-European Union players to notify Rome of any takeover intentions or plans to acquire stakes in such assets.

The powers would allow the government to oppose any move by a non-EU player to acquire an interest in the Milan bourse which is controlled by the London Stock Exchange <LSE.L>.

Earlier this month the Hong Kong bourse made an unsolicited takeover bid on the LSE which was rebuffed by the UK group.

But HKEX, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing <0388.HK>, has refused to give up on its bid, insisting it will now hold more talks with LSE investors.

It was not immediately possible to get a comment from the Italian Prime Minister's office.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and elvira Pollina, writing by Stephen Jewkes)