Benchmark Stocks Drop; Azimut, Fiat, Intesa, Saipem, STM, UniCredit Move

Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 647.78, or 3.4 percent, to 18,382.71. The gauge has slumped 21 percent since April 15, more than the 20 percent drop that is the common definition of a bear market.

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

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) slid 3.45 cents, or 3.9 percent, to 85.6 cents, as banks stocks were the worst performers in Europe today.

Separately, Natixis Securities kept a “cautious” view on Italian banks as “interest rates are not set to rise soon and revenues will remain under pressure.” The brokerage trimmed its price estimate on Monte dei Paschi to 1 euro from 1.1 euros, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP IM) to 3.2 euros from 3.5 euros, UniCredit SpA (UCG IM) to 2.6 euros from 2.8 euros, and Unione di Banche Italiane ScpA (UBI IM) to 7.5 euros from 8.3 euros. Intesa fell 12.7 cents, or 6.1 percent, to 1.97 euros. UniCredit lost 13 cents, or 7.5 percent, to 1.60 euros. UBI declined 18.5 cents, or 2.5 percent, to 7.14 euros.

Buzzi Unicem SpA (BZU IM), Italy’s second-biggest cement maker, declined 4.2 percent to 8.64 euros as stocks sensitive to economic growth were among the worst performers in Europe. Fiat SpA (F IM) retreated 48 cents, or 5.7 percent, to 8.11 euros, the biggest loss in more than two weeks.

Eni SpA (ENI IM), Italy’s biggest oil company, lost 36 cents, or 2.4 percent, to 14.61 euros, a fifth straight loss. Crude oil declined below $68 a barrel in New York before a report forecast to show U.S. supplies are growing, while concern Europe’s debt crisis will spread prompted investors to sell riskier assets.

Mediterranea delle Acque SpA (MEA IM) jumped 33.5 cents, or 13 percent, to 2.97 euros. Iride SpA (IRD IM) agreed with F2i to form a water-management venture, which will bid for Mediterranea delle Acque.

Mediolanum SpA (MED IM), the Italian financial-service company partly owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, dropped 11.8 cents, or 3.9 percent, to 3.25 euros, a second day of losses. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Ltd. cut its price estimate to 5.21 euros from 5.36 euros, saying in a note that the first quarter “demonstrates that sustainable profit growth momentum remains delayed.” The brokerage kept a “market perform” rating.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM) sank 31 cents, or 6.1 percent, to 6.05 euros, ending a two-session increase. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc kept a “cautious” view on the European semiconductor industry on concern “about a potential slowdown in end demand, particularly in China.” The brokerage has a “sell” rating on STMicro.

EEMS Italia SpA (EEMS IM), the company that assembles and tests memory chips, dropped 12.7 cents, or 9.4 percent, to 1.21 euros.

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

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