Italian Stocks Gain; Azimut, Geox, Mediaset, Safilo, Saipem, STMicro Move

Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose for a fifth day, the longest winning streak in more than two months, adding 394.18, or 2 percent, to 20,582.72 in Milan.

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

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM) gained for a seventh session, rising 3.5 cents, or 0.5 percent, to 7.44 euros. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Italy’s largest independent fund manager to “buy” from “hold.” The brokerage, which trimmed its price estimate to 10 euros from 10.1 euros, said in a note that “Azimut’s share price is not discounting the company’s growth” it forecast for 2011 and 2012.

Banco Popolare SC (BP IM) gained 9.25 cents, or 2.6 percent, to 3.63 euros, tracking gains by banks in Europe. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP IM) and UniCredit SpA (UCG IM), Italy’s biggest banks, advanced 7 cents, or 3.1 percent, to 2.31 euros and 7.3 cents, or 4 percent, to 1.91 euros, respectively.

Geox SpA (GEO IM) dropped for the first session in five, losing 10.5 cents, or 2.6 percent, to 3.99 euros. UBS AG downgraded the shoemaker to “sell” from “neutral.” The brokerage said in a note that “2011 sales visibility remains low.”

Mediaset SpA (MS IM), the television company owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, advanced 14.75 cents, or 3 percent, to 5.11 euros. British Sky Broadcasting Plc shares rose as much as 22 percent in London trading after the U.K.’s biggest pay-TV provider rejected an offer from Rupert Murdoch- controlled News Corp. to take full control of the company.

Safilo Group SpA (SFL IM) jumped 49 cents, or 6.1 percent, to 8.59 euros, extending gains of 3.2 percent yesterday. “The appointment of a new chief financial officer is particularly positive, given the poor track record in Safilo cash generation in the last few years,” Equita Sim SpA said in a note. The brokerage has a “hold” rating on the world’s second-largest maker of eyewear.

Saipem SpA (SPM IM) gained 59 cents, or 2.3 percent, to 26.67 euros, the highest in almost a month. Mediobanca Securities upgraded Europe’s largest oilfield-services provider to “outperform” from “neutral.” The brokerage said it expects “strong intake momentum in the second half of the year.”

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM), Europe’s largest chipmaker, gained 22.5 cents, or 3.2 percent, to 7.21 euros. Infineon Technologies AG hired JPMorgan Chase & Co as adviser on a possible sale of its mobile-chip unit, Financial Times Deutschland reported, without saying where it got the information.

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

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