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FILE PHOTO: Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria attends his first session of the Lower House of the Parliament in Rome, Italy, June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

(reuters_tickers)

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Friday denied reports that he had demanded the resignation of Economy Minister Giovanni Tria if Tria did not back government nominees to head key companies.

Italian bond yields rose and equities sold off after reports about tensions within the coalition government on the posts.

Several newspapers reported that Di Miao and Italy's other deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, had issued an ultimatum to Tria that he should back the government's nominees for key posts at the firms or resign.

"There are no contrasts, we are simply seeking the best for CDP," Di Maio told reporters. "I absolutely never asked for Tria's resignation."

Tria prefers Dario Scannapieco, vice president of the European Investment Bank and a former Italian Treasury official to become the new CEO of CDP, sources said.

Di Maio's 5-Star Movement supports Fabrizio Palermo, CDP's current Chief Financial Officer and Salvini backs Di Maio, the reports said, adding that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is trying to mediate the dispute.

(Reporting By Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Philip Pullella)

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Reuters