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Mediaset Rises on Speculation of Mideast Interest: Rome Mover

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Italy's Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Mediaset, which is controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, reported last month a 65 percent drop in second-quarter net income to 32.7 million euros. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Mediaset SpA gained the most in more than three years on speculation investors from the Middle East are buying the broadcaster’s shares and may seek to become the company’s second-biggest shareholder.

The stock rose as much as 11.2 percent to 1.56 euros, the biggest intraday gain since November 2008, and traded up 9.4 percent as of 1:35 p.m. in Rome.

“There have been rumors of Arab investors entering the company’s capital and this is moving the shares,” said Marco Binda, a fund manager at Gesti-Re SGR SpA in Milan. “The rally has been going on for a few days now.”

Even with this week’s gains, Mediaset shares are down almost 22 percent this year and reached a record low 1.16 euros as shares have been hurt by weak advertising revenue caused by Italy’s deepening recession.

Mediaset, which is controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, reported last month a 65 percent drop in second-quarter net income to 32.7 million euros. Sales declined to 1.02 billion euros from 1.14 billion euros a year earlier.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net.

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