Italian Stocks Drop Most Since Feb. 4; Intesa, Italcementi, Prysmian Move

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index sank the most since Feb. 4, dropping 746.80, or 3.3 percent, to 22,036.47 in Milan.

The following stocks were among the most active on the Italian market today.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) tumbled 4.3 cents, or 3.8 percent, to 1.1 euros. Bank stocks fell across Europe amid concern that a financial assistance plan for Greece won’t stop its debt crisis from spreading.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Greece to ‘BB+’ and ‘B’, respectively, from ‘BBB+’ and ‘A-2’. The outlook is negative.

Banca Popolare di Milano Scrl (PMI IM) lost 21.5 cents, or 4.7 percent, to 4.32 euros. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP IM) dropped 15.25 cents, or 5.7 percent, to 2.54 euros. UniCredit SpA (UCG IM) slid 9.5 cents, or 4.4 percent, to 2.07 euros.

Buzzi Unicem SpA (BZU IM) dropped the most in about six months, falling 57 cents, or 5 percent, to 10.94 euros. Jefferies Group Inc. initiated coverage of Italy’s second- biggest cement maker with an “underperform” rating and a price estimate of 9.1 euros. The brokerage said in a note that it’s “concerned that Italian cement prices could fall further due to continuing weakness in demand.”

Italcementi SpA (IT IM) lost 47.5 cents, or 5.1 percent, to 8.76 euros, a first decline in three sessions. Jefferies Group Inc. initiated coverage of Italy’s biggest cement maker with a “hold” recommendation and a price estimate of 9 euros. Jefferies said in a note that “the company’s comparatively small presence in emerging markets is more of a concern, but its strong cost-cutting record is a positive.”

It Way SpA (ITW IM) gained 6 cents, or 1.7 percent, to 3.6 euros, the highest in more than two weeks, after the business software maker signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp.

Olidata SpA (OLI IM) climbed the most since August last year, gaining 5.75 cents, or 13 percent, to 48.7 cents. The computer maker said in a statement after the closing of the market yesterday that it won a supply contract in Emilia Romagna.

Piaggio & C. SpA (PIA IM) dropped 11 cents, or 4.4 percent, to 2.42 euros, ending a two-session increase. Banca Akros downgraded the scooter maker to “accumulate” from “buy.”

Prysmian SpA (PRY IM), the world’s second-biggest cable maker, dropped 51 cents, or 3.6 percent, to 13.73 euros, snapping a two-session gain. Copper fell for the first time in three days in New York and London on concern that Greece’s debt crisis may spread, undermining economic recoveries.

Snam Rete Gas SpA (SRG IM) dropped for a fifth session, falling 8 cents, or 2.2 percent, to 3.56 euros. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “equal weight” from “overweight,” while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its price estimate to 3.8 euros from 3.7 euros with a “sell” rating unchanged. The owner of Italy’s natural-gas grid holds its annual meeting.

Stefanel SpA (STEF IM) advanced 0.7 cents, or 2.6 percent, to 28.2 cents. The clothing retailer completed an agreement with banks to restructure its debt, the Italian company said in a statement distributed through the Milan exchange. Stefanel said the agreement includes a 50 million euro capital increase.

Tenaris SA (TEN IM), the world’s largest maker of seamless pipes used to extract oil and gas, dropped 48 cents, or 3 percent, to 15.48 euros, paring a 4.1 percent gain yesterday. Oil fell the most in more than a week as global equities declined and the dollar advanced on skepticism European governments will approve the Greek bailout plan quickly enough to help the country avoid default.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net;

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