FTSE MIB Index Gains in Milan, Led by Bulgari, Intesa Sanpaolo, Pirelli

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index rose for a second day this week, gaining 192.31, or 0.9 percent, to 21,425.79 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan.

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

Bulgari SpA (BUL IM) advanced 3.8 percent to 7.3 euros, snapping a four-day loss. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. added the world’s third-largest jeweler to its “conviction buy” list, citing the stocks underperformance relative to luxury-goods peers over the past 12 month.

Finmeccanica SpA (FNC IM) gained for a third day, rising 1 percent to 9.27 euros. UniCredit Research reiterated a “buy” rating on Italy’s biggest defense company, saying that “even if we are clearly aware of the tough outlook that companies within the defense industry will have to face, at the same time we also believe that in some cases, like Finmeccanica, market prices are probably discounting an overly pessimistic scenario.”

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday said defense spending will be cut by 8 percent in inflation-adjusted terms to help pay down Britain’s record budget deficit.

Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso SpA (ES IM) jumped 4.5 percent to 1.74 euros, ending a two-day loss. The publisher of la Repubblica newspaper said third-quarter net income rose to 7.7 million euros ($10.8 million), from 1.1 million euros a year earlier, according to a statement distributed through the Italian exchange.

That compares with the 6.6 million-euro average estimate of nine analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Hera SpA (HER IM) increased 2.1 percent to 1.48 euros, a second gain this week. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research reiterated a “buy” rating on the utility after the presentation of the 2010-2014 business plan. Separately, Cheuvreux trimmed its price estimate to 1.8 euros from 2 euros while keeping an “outperform” rating.

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP IM), Italy’s second-biggest bank, surged 1.7 percent to 2.65 euros. The rate that European banks say they see each other paying for three-month loans in euros stayed above 1 percent for the third straight day.

The euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, for such loans climbed to 1.016 percent today from 1.008 percent yesterday, the European Banking Federation said. That’s the highest level since July 2009. UniCredit SpA (UCG IM), Italy’s biggest lender, rose 1.3 percent to 1.94 euros. Unione di Banche Italiane SCPA (UBI IM), Italy’s fourth-largest bank, advanced 1.6 percent to 7.93 euros.

Italcementi SpA (IT IM) dropped 1.8 percent to 6.41 euros, a fourth straight loss. Italy’s biggest cement maker was downgraded to “underweight” from “buy” at Gruppo Banca Leonardo and to “hold” from “buy” at Fidentiis Equities SV SA. Both brokerages cited weakness in market demand in Egypt.

Pirelli & C SpA (PC IM) advanced 1.8 percent to 6.435 euros, erasing yesterday’s loss. UniCredit SpA increased its price estimate on the tiremaker to 7 euros from 6.60 euros and reiterated a “buy” recommendation.

Prysmian SpA (PRY IM), the world’s second-biggest cable maker, advanced 1.7 percent to 14.19 euros, the highest in a week. Copper rose on the Comex after yesterday falling the most in three months.

Saipem SpA (SPM IM) increased for a second day this week, gaining 2.2 percent to 31.83 euros. Europe’s largest oilfield- services provider won new offshore contracts worth a total of about 700 million euros, according to a statement distributed by the Italian exchange today.

The contracts are in Nigeria, Spain and for the North Stream pipeline in the Baltic sea, the statement said.

Telecom Italia SpA (TIT IM) rose 1.9 percent to 1.08 euros, gaining for a third day. Italy’s biggest phone company plans to “radically upgrade” its mobile broadband network to handle increased data, Chief Executive Officer Franco Bernabe said.

“The network will be overhauled to adapt to the rise in data traffic,” Bernabe said at a press conference in Milan today. The company plans to start offering 21-megabit mobile broadband service in Milan and Rome in December, and initial rollout of 42-megabit service is scheduled for the end of 2011, Bernabe said.

Centrobanca lifted its price estimate on the stock to 1.28 euros from 1.26 euros and kept a “buy” rating.

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

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

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