Italian Stocks; Azimut, Fondiaria, Italcementi, Sogefi Shares Are Active

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index slid 25.11, or 0.1 percent, to 21,233.48 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan.

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

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM), Italy’s largest independent fund manager, increased for a second day, gaining 1 percent to 7.64 euros. Intermonte Sim SpA kept a positive view on the Italian asset-management industry, highlighting in a note an increase in mergers and acquisitions across the industry after Royal Bank of Canada agreed to buy the U.K. fixed-income money manager BlueBay Asset Management Plc and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. made an offer for Perpetual Ltd.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) rose 2.1 percent to 1.07 euros. Citigroup Inc. said in a note that “Italian banks are ignored and overlooked.” The brokerage is “overweight” on Italian banks.

Separately, Deutsche Bank AG said in a note that while “Italian banks do not look over-capitalized under the Basel III framework, their funding structures appear robust and, more importantly, their placement power is intact.”

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Ltd. said that the increase in the Euribor is “positive for the sentiment on Italian banks, which have been suffering significantly from the sharp decrease of short-term rates in the past two years.” Banco Popolare (BP IM) gained 1.5 percent to 4.33 euros.

Fondiaria-Sai SpA (FSA IM) fell 2 percent to 8.20 euros. Gruppo Banca Leonardo cut its price estimate on Italy’s second- biggest insurer to 8.10 euros from 8.40 euros, saying in a note it expects “Fondiaria and its subsidiary Milano Assicurazioni SpA to face a tough third quarter.”

Italcementi SpA (IT IM), Italy’s biggest cement maker, lost 2.2 percent to 6.53 euros, the stock’s steepest decline since Aug. 24. Egypt’s cement surplus will reach 15 million metric tons in 2012 as new plants start production and exports to Europe slow down, EFG-Hermes Holding SAE said.

Saipem SpA (SPM IM), Europe’s largest oilfield-services provider, lost 2.1 percent to 31.14 euros. Crude oil tumbled the most in seven weeks after China raised its benchmark interest rates, crimping demand in the world’s biggest energy-using country.

Sogefi SpA (SO IM) advanced for the first day in four, rising 1.7 percent to 2.40 euros. The car-parts maker reported nine-month net income of 13.5 million euros ($18.7 million), compared with a loss a year earlier.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM), Europe’s biggest chipmaker, fell 1.5 percent to 5.60 euros, ending two days of gains. Technology shares declined across Europe after Apple Inc.’s earnings forecast missed analyst estimates.

Terna SpA (TRN IM) increased 1.2 percent to 3.18 euros, its third consecutive gain. Morgan Stanley lifted its price estimate on Italy’s power grid to 3.25 euros from 3.20 euros.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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