Milan bourse drops by 3.48% on heavy losses
Other European markets also weak30 January, 19:32
On the Milan Stock Exchange, the FTSE Mib's loss of 3.48% left it at 17,260 points at the end of the day's trading.
Weighing down the index were staggering losses at Saipem, which fell by 34.6% after regulators announced a probe of unusual share sales that occurred shortly before the company announced a dramatic drop in forecast profits. Financial market regulator Consob announced it would review the sale of almost 10 million shares in Saipem made after the close of trading on Monday - just hours before the company announced that its 2013 profits would be less than half the amount previously expected.
Other securities that ended the day losing more than four percentage points in trading were Eni, a major shareholder in Saipem; Fiat, which suspended dividends for 2012 to preserve cash; and several banks, particularly scandal-plagued Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).
Shares in MPS lost 9.46% to close at just 24 euro cents as investigations continue into its financial dealings and regulation.
Meanwhile, the spread between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its ultra-safe German counterpart rose to 260 points, after closing Tuesday at 248 basis points.
The yield on 10-year Italian paper stood at 4.31% at the close of trading Wednesday. In other European markets, Frankfurt's DAX lost 0.47% to reach 7,811.31 points, while London's FTSE 100 lost 0.25% to close at 6,323.11 points, Paris's CAC 40 ended the day lower, falling 0.54% to 3,765.52 points, and Spain's IBEX 35 closed trading 0.82% lower at 8,571.90 points.