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Sampo Slides Most in Year as BofAML Cuts Rating: Helsinki Mover

April 4 (Bloomberg) -- Sampo Oyj, the owner of the Nordic region’s largest property and casualty insurer, fell the most in a year in Helsinki trading after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded its recommendation on the stock.

Sampo shares fell as much as 4.1 percent, the most since April 13, 2012, and slid 3.6 percent to 30.01 euros at 4:35 p.m. local time. Trading exceeded the average daily volume during the past three months.

BofAML analysts including Blair Stewart cut their recommendation on Sampo to neutral from buy, citing “a very strong share price performance” this year. The insurer’s stock will rise to 31.60 euros in 12 months, the analysts estimate. Sampo has added 23 percent so far this year, giving the company a value of 16.8 billion euros ($21.5 billion).

“We have long viewed the company as high quality both from an operational and management perspective. We continue to believe this is the case,” the analysts said. Even so, “the share price now more adequately reflects these characteristics. We no longer see sufficient total return potential to advocate a buy stance on the shares.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kati Pohjanpalo in Helsinki at kpohjanpalo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net

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