Italian Stocks Gain; Azimut, Fiat, Il Sole 24 Shares Move in Milan Trading

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index gained 63 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,156.85 at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Milan.

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

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM) advanced 1 percent to 7.85 euros. Italy’s largest independent fund manager said 2010 net income was between 90 million euros and 95 million euros, compared with 118.2 million euros a year earlier.

A2A SpA (A2A IM) fell 0.6 percent to 1.099 euros after CA Cheuvreux downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “outperform,”

Fiat SpA (F IM) lost 2.8 percent to 7.095 euros. Italy’s largest carmaker plans to keep control of its Mirafiori plant in Italy, Il Sole 24 Ore reported Jan. 22, citing comments by Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne in Detroit. Fiat will retain 100 percent of the plant, which will produce cars for Fiat and Chrysler, Marchionne was cited as saying.

Separately, BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research cut the stock to “underperform” from “neutral.”

Il Sole 24 Ore SpA (S24 IM) surged 6 percent to 1.40 euros. The publisher of the financial daily of the same name expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to return to 2008 levels by 2013. The company plans to cut operating costs and boost online and digital revenue, it said on Jan. 21 after the markets closed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Zurich at gbroom@bloomberg.net.

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

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