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Milan stocks close higher as Banco BPM and UBI Banca rally

by Paolo Paronetto

European stock markets started the week on an upbeat note, supported by the European Commission’s upgraded Eurozone economic forecasts for 2017 and 2018.

The Milan FTSE MIB index (up 1.07%) and the Paris CAC 40 (up 1.24%) rallied after Moody’s confirmed its credit ratings on Italy and France. Frankfurt rose 0.92%, while London climbed 0.28%.

Leading the gains on the Milan blue-chip index, Banco BPM (+6.64%) and UBI Banca (+6.42%) rebounded from losses on Friday, when they released their 2016 results.

Shares in insurance group Generali closed up 2.57% on renewed speculation of a possible move by Intesa Sanpaolo (+0.47%).

Corporate earnings rewarded Unipol (+5.98%) and UnipolSai (+4.68%).

Outside the financial sector, oil and gas services company Saipem rose 2.68%, automotive group Fiat Chrysler gained 2.27% and car braking system maker Brembo closed up 2.09%.

Mediaset shares rose 1.97% after former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that the company is not for sale and reiterated his hard stance against Vivendi, which has built up a large stake.

Defensive stocks bucked the trend, with A2A losing 0.77% and Enel closing down 0.4%.

Also in Milan, regional bank Carige dropped 3.69% on concerns, following the release of 2016 results, that the group will be forced to consider a capital increase as part of its next industrial plan.

Also on the radar, Società Editoriale Vita rallied 12.1% after stock market regulator CONSOB banned orders without a limit price, Gequity gained 12% and Smre soared 11.76%, while Sintesi (-26.67%), Elica (-6.87%) and Neurosoft (-4.52%) lost ground.

Positive debut finally for Orsero (+5.81%) in its trading debut on the AIM listing for mid-sized and small companies.