MILAN -- Senior executives at Mediobanca SpA, Italy's most powerful bank, were formally warned on Monday that they were being investigated in a probe into the near collapse last year of the Ferruzzi Finanziaria SpA.

The bank said in a statement its honorary president, Enrico Cuccia, and three other officials were notified of the probe by magistrates in Ravenna. The secretive bank dominates Italian business life, advising leading companies from carmaker Fiat SpA to Prime Minister Silvio Berluscon's Fininvest media emprire, and holding crucial stakes in a range of financial institutions.

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