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Fiat layoffs may touch 12,000

Rome, June 23 (AFP): Italian industrial conglomerate Fiat on Thursday is due to announce up to 12,000 layoffs, mainly outside Italy, the Wall Street Journal Europe reported today, citing a source close to the company.

Fiat is expected to announce job cuts in several of its units ó including farm-equipment maker CNH, truck concern Iveco and car-parts firm Magneti Marelli, the newspaper said. About 4,000 of the cuts are at CNH, the source added.

Earlier reports had put the number of layoffs at 8,000-10,000.

At a board meeting on Thursday, Fiat executives also may discuss what is a likely renegotiation of a $ 3.5-billion convertible loan extended to Fiat by a group of Italian banks last spring.

Under terms of a three-year loan signed in 2002, banks are reimbursed in Fiat ordinary shares at a price equal to the average of Ä 15.5 and the average of Fiatís share price over the preceding months.

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