Italian bank shares hold despite cuts

Italian bank shares hold despite cuts

ROMA - Agence France-Presse
Italian bank shares hold despite cuts

An employee fixes sales stickers on the window of a shop in Rome. AFP photo

Italian bank shares were unmoved on the Milan stock market yesterday despite action by Moody’s ratings agency to downgrade 13 lenders following its sovereign rating downgrade for Italy last week.

Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, inched up slightly by 0.1 percent after its rating was cut by two notches to Baa2 from A3.

Intesa Sanpaolo, the country’s second biggest lender, was at zero after it too was downgraded to Baa2. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Mediobanca were up 0.2 percent, while Banco Popolare was down slightly by 0.05 percent.

Moody’s ratings agency downgraded 13 banks on Monday, a few days after downgrading Italy by two notches.

It warned of an “increased risk that the government might be unable to provide financial support to its banks in financial distress.” Moody’s also downgraded the ratings of 23 Italian sub-sovereign entities including regional and local governments.