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Italy Stocks: Generali, Pirelli, RCS, Safilo, UniCredit Move

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index declined for a second day, falling 331.29, or 1.4 percent, to 22,820.01.

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

Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G IM) lost 28 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 17.74 euros, a second day of losses. Banca Akros downgraded Europe’s third-biggest insurer to “reduce” from “hold.” The brokerage cited “a risk of under-reserving in Generali’s domestic property and casualty insurance operations, on the basis of the gap in reserving with respect to the major Italian players.”

Generali also had its rating cut at AlphaValue, which lowered its recommendation to “sell” from “reduce.”

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) slid 1.5 cents, or 1.4 percent, to 1.08 euros. Bank stocks declined across Europe as concern grew that Greece may default on its debt. Banca Popolare di Milano Scrl (PMI IM) declined 7.5 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 4.53 euros. Banco Popolare SC (BP IM) declined 12 cents, or 2.2 percent, to 5.05 euros. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP IM) dropped 6 cents, or 2.3 percent, to 2.7 euros. UniCredit SpA (UCG IM) fell 6 cents, or 2.7 percent, to 2.18 euros. Unione di Banche Italiane SCPA (UBI IM) retreated 11 cents, or 1.1 percent, to 9.99 euros.

Bialetti Industrie SpA (BIA IM) dropped for a second day, falling 3.45 cents, or 6 percent, to 53.8 cents. The producer of coffee pots said it plans to close its plant in Omegna, which employs 120 people.

Fiat SpA (F IM) fell 9 cents, or 0.9 percent, to 9.66 euros, extending losses of 2.2 percent yesterday. Italy’s largest carmaker was rated “underperform” at Macquarie Group Ltd. in new coverage with a price estimate of 8.7 euros. The brokerage highlighted that “the Italian government decided not to extend the scrapping incentives into 2010,” and that “the Brazilian market will also lose momentum throughout 2010.”

Pirelli & C. SpA (PC IM), Europe’s third-largest tiremaker, sank 1.6 cents, or 3.4 percent, to 43.7 cents, the biggest decline in two months. Kepler Capital Markets highlighted in a note on the European automobile & parts industry that rising raw material prices may hurt the industry’s 2010 profit growth.

RCS MediaGroup SpA (RCS IM) rose for a second day this week, gaining 3 percent to 1.37 euros. Cheuvreux upgraded the publisher of Italy’s largest daily newspaper to “underperform” from “sell,” citing “positive management indications on current trading.”

Safilo Group SpA (SFL IM) increased 0.65 cents, or 1.5 percent, to 44.15 cents, extending gains of 4.2 percent yesterday. The world’s second-largest maker of eyewear was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG.

Screen Service Broadcasting Technologies SpA (SSB IM) advanced 3 cents, or 4.5 percent, to 68 cents, the biggest gain in more than five weeks. Equita Sim SpA initiated coverage of the maker of television-broadcasting equipment with a “buy” rating and a price estimate of 90 cents.

Telecom Italia SpA (TIT IM) dropped for a second day, losing 1.7 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 1.06 euros. Italy’s biggest phone company will offer prosecutors bank guarantees totaling 195 million euros ($261 million) to avoid having its Sparkle unit placed into administration as part of a probe, Ansa news agency reported late yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

The bank guarantees are in addition to 300 million euros seized in February as part of an investigation into alleged tax fraud and money laundering, according to Ansa. An official for Telecom Italia in Rome declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today.

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