While the European places evolved yesterday in narrow margins, the image of the DJ Stoxx 50 ( 0.03 at the end), the Milan Stock Exchange is distinguished. Index S & P MIB has won 1.25, to 36.862 points. After the offer launched Friday night by BNP Paribas on Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (also read pages 28 and 29), the banking sector indeed clearly took speculation of mergers and acquisitions in a still fragmented environment. In its wake, the whole of the European financial segment grew.
Capitalia, cited as potential because of its shareholder structure target, completed at the top of the DJ Stoxx 600 index and at the forefront of the Italian index with a jump of 7.57. "The market anticipates new reconciliations, while that of shareholders such as Capitalia Covenants should be completed this year", says Sébastien Manzoni, vendor shares at Raymond James Euro Equities.
In addition, as the note Morgan Stanley analysts in a note, the appointment, in December, Mario Draghi as new Governor of the Bank of Italy, more open to foreign banks as Antonio Fazio deemed, should accelerate the process of consolidation.
This turmoil on banks, which weigh about one-third of the index, has played a role of shock on the square, down several of its European counterparts. In January, the S & P MIB advanced 2.66, against a gain of 4,94 for CAC 40 and an increase of 4.92 for the DAX.
The arguments are shared
Whether if the advance of the Italian boot will be sustainable, the arguments are shared. On the one hand, "the Italy, which presents an exporting connotation, benefits the international growth", says Jérôme Fauvel, responsible for management actions in Multifonds, which made Milan his place preferred in Europe behind Frankfurt. "It's a cyclical market which follows in general the German market." ENI, heavy weight on the side with more than 17 of the index, can contribute to push while the crude oil prices remain high.
So, the strong weighting values important dividends and Enel, which represents 8 of the index, the composition of the Italian rating also plays in his disfavor. "The increase in rates by the European Central Bank would particularly affect the Italian market, strongly correlated with the rate to 10 European years", said the team of strategists of the Société Générale in a recent note.
For them, the development of the market remains high while beneficiaries the consensus Outlook appear slightly below the average European (respectively 7.2 and 9.4 in 2006). Société Générale believes that Milan index should continue to under-perform, with profit expected by 4 in 2006.
Elections in April
Finally, in addition to the evolution of the dollar, which could penalise the export values, professionals are concerned about the consequences of the April elections. "This election will be a factor of uncertainty, so it is possible that no clear majority emerges, which will not facilitate reforms", is concerned about Pierre Lamboray, specialist Manager of the countries of southern Europe in Dexia AM. This professional still remains confident in the long term, building on an increase of approximately 12 of the S & P MIB index in 2006.